On the occasion of the fortnight for Peace at the Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE, and in collaboration with Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region (northern France), visited the United Arab Emirates from November 23 to 25, 2021, along with a large delegation composed of 14 companies labelled Living Heritage Companies (EPV*).
The aim of this mission is to promote Normandy Region (Normandie is the second biggest region of France in terms of export) and its companies, its sectors of excellence in the fields of technology, luxury wear, textiles and education such as the Normandy Management School getting ready to open a branch in Dubai by September 2022.
The Normandy Region delegation also attended a conference on the theme of “Normandy for Peace” followed by a networking event at the terrace of the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of the French Ambassador to the UAE HE. Xavier Chatel and the UAE business community.
I’m happy to see that smile on the faces of the business leaders we brought to Dubai this week. Contacts have been made, appointments have been noted, especially in Normandy for the spring. For some, first-time exporters, the step has been taken. The UAE investors we met also understood that Normandy is not just cows under apple trees in front of a half-timbered house. Normandy is also a land for the future !, commented Hervé Morin, President of the Normandy Region.
*EPV: Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant – Living Heritage Companies – the highest recognition mark from the French government to distinguish companies’ industrial and artisanal know-how in France.
A delegation composed of 14 companies*, most of them EPV label holders
* Aurys Industries (Samir Bou Obeid), Tricots St James (Manuela Horeau), Mapache (Aurélie Cortes), Filt 1860 (Catherine et Jean-Philippe Cousin), Socotex (Deborah Peyrucq), Isigny Sainte Mère et Les Caramels d’Isigny (Daniel Delahaye et Camille Mancelle), Biscuiterie de l’Abbaye (Gérard Lebaudy), Maison Berger (Guillaume Wehrlin), La Ferme des Peupliers (Edouard Chedru), La Malle Bernard (Daniel Bizet), Romain Brifault (Manon Leguillon et Alexandre Brifault), KNCO (Jean-Michel Costaseque), ETS Thierry (Amedi Nacer), Mauviel 1830 (Valérie Le Guern Gilbert)
Normandy is home to 60 companies labelled “Living Heritage Companies” (EPV), which testifies to the richness of the region’s industrial and artisanal know-how in a wide variety of sectors ranging from agro-food to textiles, including the renovation of old buildings and foundries. The strength of ARSEN (the Regional Association of Excellence know-how in Normandy) lies in the association of recognised companies, developing start-ups, in a spirit of cross-fertilisation combining tradition and innovation.
Setting up of the Management School Campus in Dubai
Wednesday, November 24, Hervé Morin, Jean-Louis Grégoire, President of EM Normandie, and Elian Pilvin, Director General of EMN, presented, within the France Pavilion, the project for the establishment of the School’s campus of Management of Normandy in Dubai, in presence of representatives of the Dubai Knowledge Park, the Tecom group, the French Embassy and the French Institute in the United Arab Emirates.
EMN’s new campus in Dubai, which will cost €2.5 million to build, is due to open in September 2022 at the Dubai Knowledge Park. It will be able to accommodate 200 students, in a 1500 m² building.
Normandy networking evening
This event, which took place on November 24, aimed to highlight the economic dynamism of the Normandy Region and to promote the Norman companies in the delegation in front of an audience of UAE companies and economic networks. The Normandy evening was the occasion for numerous exchanges between Norman companies and their commercial contacts, customers or prospects, in the prestigious setting of the France Pavilion.
Presentation of the Normandy for Peace initiative
On Thursday 25 November, François-Xavier Priollaud, Vice-President of the Normandy Region in charge of international relations, presented the Normandy for Peace initiative to foundations, NGOs, think tanks and representatives of the foreign pavilions at the Expo 2020. Building on its history, the Normandy Region launched the Normandy for Peace initiative in 2017, with the conviction that everyone can act alongside States and international organizations to develop lasting peace in the world. Normandy for Peace combine initiatives for the general public and young people with high-level events dedicated to specialists in international relations with the aim of restoring dialogue in some of the world’s most unstable regions.
New commercial partnerships between UAE companies and Normandy companies
Usually very active internationally with around 4,000 Normandy companies exporting, the pandemic caused a drop-in global economic activity, which naturally led to a slowdown in international trade, but Normandy’s foreign trade fell less than the national level.
Investors CHOOSE NORMANDY
Normandy has a strong international reputation, notably for its quality of life, its tourism and its productions for the art of living, and a leading industrial position in the strategic sectors of the French economy (energy, mobility and aeronautics, health, mobility, etc.). The challenge of the region’s attractiveness is to communicate with innovative companies and major economic players in order to attract the major investment projects that are currently accompanying the transition of the economy.
This is why the United Arab Emirates represent an obvious potential in terms of future projects for Normandy in the renewable energy sector (replacing hydrocarbons). Indeed, Normandy benefits from an efficient ecosystem that is unique in France for the two renewable energies that are wind and hydrogen.
As a reminder: In 2020, Normandy experienced a great dynamic in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), proving the growing confidence that international investors have in Normandy. The number of foreign-owned companies setting up in the region has been rising steadily since 2016 (+23%). As a result, jobs linked to FDI are up sharply compared to 2019 (+ 41%), whereas at national level, there has been a drop in jobs (- 13%) over a comparable period.