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The Limousin
3 Departments: Corrèze, Creuse and Haute-Vienne
711,000 inhabitants in 1999
Main towns:           Limoges: 200,000 inhabitants
          Brive-Tulle: 80,000 inhabitants

Limousin is a welcoming region: 8,000 newcomers between 1990 and 1998.
ACCESS

There are several daily flights connecting Limousin to Paris-Orly (1 hour10 mins), to Paris-Roissy (1 hour 25 mins), Clermond-Ferrand and Lyon.
There are also regular connections between Paris and Brive, and Guéret.

Paris can be reached in 2 hours 50 minutes from Limoges by train, and trains run regularly to Lyon, Geneva, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

The road-network has improved significantly. The A20 Motorway from Paris to Toulouse is toll-free as it crosses Limousin.
Another motorway is in the process of being built, which will link Bordeaux to Lyon via Brive.

MAIN ACTIVITIES

Limousin is a land of industrial know-how (porcelain, tapestry, diverse mineral extraction such as gold, textiles, leather-footwear and papermaking), and counts amongst those sectors which are strongly investing:
– the electricity-electronic sector, with Legrand, which is the world leader in low-tension electrical equipment, also developing home-automation on the Technopole site,
– the growing wood-paper sector, with much foreign investment,
– the food-processing sector with Diépal, a BSN subsidiary, which has made an investment of 80 million francs over 3 years for the manufacture of baby-food, as well as Madrange (the turnover of which has doubled in 5 years).

The industrial sector base is made up of small and medium-sized businesses (6 establishments with more than 500 salaried workers).
The main sectors represented are: electrical and electronic material, wood-paper, machine and equipment manufacture, publishing, clothing, motor industry, food-processing industry and porcelain.

The service sector employs more than 65% of all jobs. Great efforts have been made on a regional level to make businesses aware of the spread of Information Technology. For example, the project tender for Acticiel 98 awarded 20 business projects and 21 local development projects.

A little over 9% of all jobs are involved in agriculture, specialising in the breeding of beef cattle (« limousine-breed ») and sheep.

Other local produce (apples, canning industry, liqueurs, mushrooms, etc.) have acquired a significant reputation in France and in Europe.

The economic impact of tourism

There are more than 300,000 tourist beds available in Limousin, of which 91,000 are payable in hotels, gites, etc.. Every year the region counts more than 11 million tourist-nights and tourists from other regions spend 1650 billion francs. Tourism generates 16,200 seasonal or permanent jobs, which is 5% of the active workforce in Limousin.

The balance of trade is reasonably encouraging in Limousin (import-export ratio of 153%) and improved by 15% between 1996 and 1997. Germany and Italy are our main suppliers (in order of importance), but also our customers (in reverse order).

The 21 biggest industrial companies in Limousin (more than 300 salaried employees), representing about 12,000 people

Legrand Limoges electrical equipment manufacture
Renault Véhicules Industriels Limoges motor vehicle construction
Giat Industries Tulle armaments
Société synthèse, étdues et recherches (SER) La Souterraine et Bessines cutting and stamping
Meillor Nantiat car accessories (joints)
Madrange Feytiat cooked pork and meat products
Diépal (Danone Group) Brive children’s food manufacture
International Paper Saillat-sur-Vienne wood-pulp and reprographic paper manufacture
Constructions Mécaniques Deshors Brive general mechanics
Imprimerie Fabrègue Saint-Yrieix printing
Valéo Limoges car accessories
Sicame Arnac-Pompadour electrical equipment manufacture
Bernardaud Limoges porcelain manufacture
Hugues Nicollet S.A. Rochechouart corrugated cardboard and packaging manufacture
Lachaise (Unilever group) Malemort confectionery
Philips Photonique Brive electronic components manufacture
Vital Egletons meat production
Dagard Boussac metal building construction
Société des Fonderies d’Ussel (Péchiney group) Ussel light metal foundry
Société Française de Chaussures (Weston) Limoges footwear
Borg Warner Automotive Tulle Tulle car accessories
FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Most investment has been in the wood-paper sector:
– in 1989, the American group International Paper bought Aussedat Rey, which produces wood-pulp. International Paper invested more than 2 billion francs in extending and modernising this factory, which was brought into service at the beginning of 1993. It is responsible directly for 470 jobs and has indirectly created about 1500 jobs in the region.
– the Jefferson-Smurfit Group, the leading Irish company, has invested in three Limousin companies which it bought.
– in Corrèze, the American Group BWA acquired SUM (300 jobs) and redirected its production towards car accessories.
– the German Group Degussa-Hüls created a new specialised ceramic laboratory for the whole group at its : dmc2 France plant in Limoges. This industrial plant is unique in the world and represents an investment of 21 million francs.
– the Italian Group, Microplan, invested in Ateliers Maître in Creuse, which carries out measuring and control tables (granite, composite).

TRAINING AND RESEARCH

Higher education brings together nearly 20,000 students.
The range of training courses offered by the University is completed by: the eight departments of the University Institute of Technology, the Vocational University Institute, the National School of Decorative Arts, the National Higher School of Industrial Ceramics, the National Higher Engineering of School of Limoges, the Institute of Computer Engineering of Limoges, the International Office for Water, etc..

Research is centred mainly around 9 specialised areas:
– ceramic materials and surface treatments
– electronic and optical communications and microwaves
– polymers and electronics
– arithmetic, formal calculus and optimisation
– environment
– biotechnologies
– cellular and molecular biology
– cellular pharmacology
– linguistic and textual analysis

Limousin Technology is a local association which implements all public service aid programmes for the transfer of technology developed on a national and regional level. It acts as a centralised interface between technological supply and demand, and is a platform for the start-up of projects.