Bordeaux – The Pearl of Aquitaine (La perle d’Aquitaine)
Bordeaux is located on the banks of the Garonne river near the Bay of Biscay in southwest France. It is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the Prefecture of the Department of Gironde. The city is the center of an Urban Community, which consists of 27 municipalities. The Bordeaux’s population is estimated around 260,958 (est. January 2019), with a density of population 5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi). The urban area is estimated around 927,445 (2017), with a density of population of 790/km2 (2,000/sq mi). The metropolitan area’s population is estimated around 1,247,977 (est. 2017), with a density of population of 220/km2 (580/sq mi).
Economy of Bordeaux
Nouvelle-Aquitaine contributes ranks on the 3rd position as France GDP contributor, with around €188, 611.49 million, about 7.2 percent of the national GDP (€2,603 billion), and the region has a diverse and robust economy with several well-developed sectors. The tertiary sector is robust, due in part to the city’s position as the administrative center of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Bordeaux is also the fourth largest banking center in France, with approximately 20,000 employees working in this field. There are 65 call centers in Bordeaux, 15 of which employ more than 100 staff, making it the third-largest call center region in the country. Bordeaux has also become one of the country’s most important centers for IT services, with approximately 2,200 companies employing some 23,500 people.
The industrial sector also plays an essential role in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. In particular, there is a well-developed aerospace industry, which, combined with the Midi-Pyrénées region, has more than 85,000 people working in over 1,200 companies. Bordeaux is also well known for its production of wine and liqueur, which accounts for a significant part of the region’s wealth. The region is ranked first in France for the production of AOC wines, making up about 30 percent of the total produced in the country. Other significant industries include electrical, automotive, chemical, and biotechnological industries.
Infrastructure of Bordeaux
The region benefits from excellent transport infrastructure, bringing much of Europe within easy reach. Bordeaux is ideally located at the crossroads of 3 major roadways. The A10 runs north to south through western France. It links northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, the A89 links the region with Lyon, Switzerland, and central Europe, and the A62 links Toulouse, Barcelona, Marseilles, and Milan. The A65, due for completion in 2010, will link the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region with northern Spain. Bordeaux’s railway station, Gare St-Jean, is located just 3 kilometers from the city center and has hundreds of departures every day. It is at the heart of the country’s high-speed network and has 16 trains leaving for Paris daily, with journey times of less than 3 hours.
The Port of Bordeaux is the seventh-largest in France, handling nearly 8 million tonnes of cargo per annum with routes to and from some 300 destinations on every continent. Nearly half of all cargo handled at the port is mineral oils, with the rest comprising grains and oilseeds, oil cake and oils, fertilizers, coal and petroleum coke, and containers. The port consists of 6 specialised terminals; Le Verdon, Pauillac, Blaye, Ambès, Bassens and Bordeaux. Le Verdon and Bassens have facilities for roll-on/ roll-off ferries, and Le Verdon also includes a 60 hectare free port with 4,000 square meters of warehouse space.
Bordeaux-Merignac Airport is located approximately 10 kilometers from Bordeaux’s city center. It is home to more than ten airlines offering flights to destinations throughout Europe, including Dublin, Lisbon, London, Munich, and Paris. During 2019 the airport handled nearly 7 million passengers (passed the symbolic milestone in 2019) and more than 25,145 tonnes of freight.
Workforce of Bordeaux
According to the European Commission, Bordeaux has a high proportion of executives and professionals working in health, education, research, and commerce. Bordeaux also benefits from a well-educated workforce, with the percentage of students staying after school to study in higher education being more significant than the national average. There are more than 50,000 students and 5,000 researchers working in Bordeaux’s four universities and numerous graduate schools and high schools specializing in engineering and management.
One of the best French Universities is located in Bordeaux: Universite de Bordeaux. Founded on June 7th, 1441; 580 years ago (2022) has over 50,000 enrolled students in 2021. The university is part of the Community of universities and higher education institutions of Aquitaine.
Standard of Living in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is famous for its wine and cuisine and offers an outstanding quality of living. The city of Bordeaux is home to a vast array of shops, department stores, and luxury boutiques, and the wider region offers numerous leisure facilities. Bordeaux is one of the country’s top regions for golf courses, and there are miles of footpaths, cycle paths, and waterways for exploring the countryside. In addition, the region is a short distance from the coast and the Pyrenees’ skiing facilities.
Bordeaux has a fantastic cultural heritage with numerous museums and historical sites and a large variety of shows and festivals throughout the year, including over ten film festivals. Furthermore, three monuments in the city and 16 in the wider Nouvelle-Aquitaine region have been included on UNESCO’s international heritage list.
Business Costs in Bordeaux
The average wage in Bordeaux is just over €30,000 in 2022, with a range from approximately €32,000 for Finance Management positions to nearly €18,000 for non-skilled workers.
From 2022, the standard corporate tax rate is 25% on all profits. Individual taxes are based on both a progressive and share system, from 0% to 45%. The amount payable depends on the amount earned and the number of people part of the family (living in the same household).
The value-added tax rate in France is 20%.
A wage pact is known as the Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance (SMIC), which ensures workers are paid at least €10.52 per hour, or €1.539,42 EUR a month on the standard 35-hour workweek. Labor costs are relatively high for a European country – even higher than the United Kingdom’s minimum wage of £5.80 per hour, which converts to €6.63 per hour.