David Appia, Chairman and CEO of IFA, says, "The financial advantages of setting up in France, coupled with high skill levels and exemplary legislation, particularly regarding data protection, are the best kind of guarantees international investors can hope for. IFA is here to help them make their IT projects a reality."
Coe-Rexecode, a leading research institute, published a study in May 2011, which explains that the digital economy is behind 25% of the country's growth, 3% of jobs, and 16% of overall investments in France. (See details below.)
Key multinational businesses, including Equinix, IBM, Interoute, Interxion, Telecity and Telehouse, have all invested in the French data-centre market, which is worth an estimated €1 billion per year. The market's strong performance is also demonstrated by the fact that large French operators such as Orange France Telecom and Atos have opened data centres in France.
GE Energy has just installed a data-storage centre at its Belfort site, in Eastern France. Primarily designed to accommodate the computing needs of its 400 in-house engineers, the investment has turned Belfort into GE Energy Europe's IT nerve centre.
In 2010, Seclin acquired an existing facility, which was fully renovated into a 10,000m² hosting centre. Also in 2010, Japanese group KDDI Telehouse opened Telehouse Paris Magny, a 15,000m² data centre located in Magny-les-Hameaux, south of the French capital (in the Ile-de-France region). This is the third centre that KDDI has opened in France, following Jeuneurs (in central Paris) in 1996 and Voltaire (in suburban Paris) in 1999.
KDDI's Telehouse Europe facilities provide services to 60 telecommunications providers as well as to 350 other businesses. The latter take in France's main internet exchanges and have built most of the infrastructure upon which France's IT systems depend in order to operate.
The digital value chain — a term used to describe the communication between partners to ensure the delivery of goods or services in the digital industry — revolves around data centres that house computer systems and associated elements, such as storage units and telecommunications equipment. These data centres lie at the crossroads of technology and sectors of activity such as real estate, infrastructure, the digital industries and energy: they are the backbone of the digital economy. Therefore, data centres must meet high availability requirements and have a good PUE ratio (where 'PUE' stands for 'power usage effectiveness').
The business climate in France is ripe for expansion in the data-centre sector, as the country is recognised for its highly skilled engineers and technicians, along with its secure electricity supply. French legislation — with the law on data protection and the specific legislation on data encryption, known as the Confidence in the Digital Economy Act — provides for the security of data (and data processing), while meeting industry's need for a secure legal framework.
Coe-Rexecode published its study in May 2011; an English summary of the study is available here: http://www.coe-rexecode.fr/public/Espace-Presse/Communiques-de-presse/Digitization-plays-an-essential-role-in-growth. Coe-Rexecode is the Centre d'Observation Economique Rexecode, a private-sector research institute focusing on economic analysis and the development of businesses.
About Invest in France Agency
Invest in France Agency (IFA) is France's national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France. IFA also co-ordinates a range of initiatives in order to promote France's economic attractiveness and stimulate inward investment.
The IFA network operates worldwide, with offices within France as well as in North and South America, in Europe, in the Middle East, and in the rest of Asia. In France, IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors outstanding business opportunities and customised services.
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