Economic Assets

Economic Development is one of the primary strengths of the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée region. In 2017, the Region set its sights on the economy of the future, strengthening its commitments to economic development and innovation.
Industry, agriculture, coastal and mountain regions, digital resources: the assets with which our region is equipped provide myriad opportunities for job creation.


Enterprise and Innovation: Businesses flourishing in Occitanie

Our Region prioritises business creation: 20% added to the business aid budget in 2017. 50,000 new companies registered in 2015.
The “Coup de Pousse” contest provides a spotlight for project promoters and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with high potential for innovation and - above all - job creation. It helps these companies to go further by awarding subsidies of €20,000 - €100,000, as well as providing support via business incubator networks, chambers of commerce, etc.
The Region is becoming a business incubator in its own right. 8,400 start-ups are flourishing throughout the region. Almost €10 million have been invested to create start-up hubs in Montpellier and Toulouse. We are the first region to have obtained the “Fab Region” international label, in recognition of our support for FabLabs.

Occitanie, a global centre for aeronautics

It comes as no surprise that Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée is recognised as a national bastion of the aeronautic industry. With 720 companies and a role as a global leader, aeronautics is responsible for 71,000 jobs in the region.
Despite what is sometimes thought, not all this business activity takes place in Toulouse. A dense fabric of SMEs-SMIs is active in the surrounding departments, notably in Ariège, Averyon, Lot and also closer to the Méditerranée in the Gard and Pyrénées-Orientales departments.

Agriculture: The Region’s primary sector for investment

Credits Brigitte Letourneau

A quarter of French farms and farmland engage in organic agricultural practices

The agricultural sector represents 140,000 active workers in our region, making Occitanie France’s second largest agricultural region in terms of employment. The agricultural budget for 2017 has been increased by 26.6%.
Currently, particular emphasis is being placed on organic farming. Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée has more organic farms than any other region in France: 6,500 farms (covering 329,660 hectares) were certified as organic in 2015. Among these are 23,000 hectares of vineyards.

Occitanie leads the way in quality labels

To supplement our investments in organic agriculture, the Region is also focusing on product certification labels.
Currently, we have 250 certified products and 31,200 retailers selling SIQO-labelled products (identification and quality of origin), approved by France’s National Institute for Product Origins and Quality.
Product labelling is also used in the winemaking sector, with over 12,000 vineyards in the region having received certification. Quality labels are also awarded for meat products (pork, poultry, waterfowl, beef and lamb).

Tourism economy: from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean

Tourism provides as much as 10% of our GDP, and accounts for 100,000 jobs across the region. Today, the challenge is to reinforce the broader appeal of our region, in particular the two major tourism centres that are the Pyrenees mountain range and the Mediterranean sea.

Blue Growth and the Plan Littoral 21 coastline initiative

Credits David Crespin

In March 2017, Regional President Carole Delga gave the go-ahead for the Plan Littoral 21 coastline initiative. This plan aims to make the region a major maritime operator, combining economic dynamism with environmental preservation.
With the backing of the Maritime Parliament, the Region is focusing on European “blue growth”: increasing port traffic (with €63.6 million allocated for the region’s ports) and tourism, upgrading tourist accommodation and developing coastal resorts and destinations.

The hills are alive… with economic opportunity !

Credits Laurent Boutonnet

Who says that mountains always have to be a winter destination?
The “four season-mountains” plan has allocated a budget of €1.5 million in 2017. Winter resorts can now look towards the spa sector in order to diversify their business models.
Both in the mountains and throughout the region, we are working to make our tourism sector more competitive, upgrading tourist attractions, diversifying supply and extending tourist seasons.

The Region is also focusing on other economic sectors:

  • Digital: 52,500 jobs in the digital sector, of which 600 are in the video game market (France’s second-largest region for the video game market sector).
  • Research: 15 competitive hubs, almost 30,000 researchers located around the region, 28 elite schools and 7 universities.
  • Health: 240,000 jobs in 538 healthcare institutions, both public and private. Our University Hospitals (CHUs) are among the top 50 hospitals in France, in rankings compiled by Le Point magazine: Toulouse CHU in 3rd place, Montpelier CHRU in 8th.