French overseas territories
There are 12 overseas territories: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and the Wallis and Futuna islands, which together have almost 2.6 million inhabitants. Because of its overseas territories, France is the only EU country that is present in three separate oceans. They help consolidate France’s second place worldwide in terms of maritime reach and make a telling contribution to the rollout of the country’s maritime and “blue growth” policies. These territories enshrine the future of energy as they are the “100% renewable energy” forerunners of the energy transition and the promotion of clean transportation.
Reunion: Europe in the middle of the Indian Ocean
With its unique geographical location, its status as an ultraperipheral region and its vibrant environment, Réunion has many competitive advantages, fostering access to the economic markets of the Indian Ocean area, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The island provides an ideal bridgehead for the expansion of economic activities towards these regions. Its economy, which is focused on agriculture and tourism, is driven by the presence of major companies and a flourishing innovation ecosystem coordinated by a Technopole and a cluster (Qualitropic), which is centered on the tropical bioeconomy.
High-performing sectors bringing skills and expertise
La Réunion is an island in the Indian Ocean which offers investors a stable, secure and modern business environment ideal for long-term investment projects. Some 54,725 companies are present in La Réunion across all sectors, including agritech, cleantech, the digital economy and the marine economy.
In the renewable energy field, La Réunion is seeking to achieve 50% renewables in its energy mix, before total energy self-sufficiency. The island is known for solar power thanks notably to its innovative photovoltaic solar farms at Mangassaye and Bardzour.
In the digital field, companies enjoy opportunities in the fields of the green economy, e-administration, datacentres, anti-spam solutions, e-health and embedded systems. In addition to strong demand, the Region also has renowned expertise in server and website design, animation and infographics, as home to Europe’s second-largest colouring and compositing studio, Pipangaï.
Great research and innovation potential
La Réunion is a player in high-performing sectors, attracting major French research specialists, including:
- CIRAD (Agricultural Research Centre for International Development).
- IRD (Research Institute for Development).
- IFREMER (Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea).
- BRGM (Geological Survey).
- INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research).
- CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research).
- IPGP (Institute of Earth Physics of Paris).
- Météo France (Meteorological Office).
More than 13,000 students study at the University of La Réunion each year.
La Réunion is also home to innovative clusters such as Qualitropic and Témergie (La Réunion site of the Capenergies cluster), technological centres such as Technor and TechSud, and “French Tech” entities. This concentration of scientific and engineering talent attracts innovative, high value added activities, giving La Réunion unparalleled regional leadership in the digital sector in particular.
In La Réunion, the Research Tax Credit applies at a rate of 50% up to €100 million of eligible expenditure, and of 5% thereafter: the best tax treatment of R&D in the OECD.
A multimodal hub with international access
La Réunion has a key geostrategic position, at the confluence of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), southern and eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and SouthEast Asia. European-standard infrastructure provides the services of a multimodal hub.
La Réunion Roland Garros Airport (ARRG) received 2.3 million passengers in 2017 and has a freight capacity of 40,000 tons annually, while the La Réunion port has been declared of national interest, combining the functions of maritime rail terminal, trading port, naval base, marina and fishing port.
The Region is also fully covered by sophisticated digital infrastructure (satellite, submarine fibre-optic cables, high-speed 4G network).
This French and European island offers excellent access to the economies of its geographical region and of Europe.
Major tourism opportunities thanks to exceptional natural and cultural heritage
The tourism sector offers numerous business opportunities.
La Réunion has 40km of beaches, lagoons, coral reefs, more than 1,000km of marked trails, a national park of 105,000 hectares and a marine nature reserve. Its cultural heritage includes 140 historic monuments, 20 of which listed, five French national museums, theatres and cultural festivals.