61% of investors consider Lyon to be one of the main “challenger cities” of Paris, up 4 points from last year.

In its latest survey on France, the EY group (formerly Ernst and Young) published the results of a poll conducted among over 200 decision-makers from around the world on their perceptions of France and its cities. Ranked first by 46% of the investors (and 61% overall), Lyon finished far ahead of other major French cities such as Marseille (9%) and Toulouse (5%). In other words, Lyon is seen as the city with the greatest potential to rival the French capital.

The Rhône-Alpes region comes second to the Ile-de-France (Paris) area in terms of head office setups, with 20% of headquarters projects compared to 5% each for the Midi-Pyrénées and Alsace regions. It should also be noted that one-third of R&D projects are set up in the Rhône-Alpes or Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, compared to “only” a quarter in Ile-de-France.

The EY study reveals that Lyon Metropole is so attractive because it has all the essential ingredients foreign investors are looking for: “a network of world-renowned higher education facilities, high-quality transport and telecoms infrastructures, innovative business parks and a wide variety of lease-ready, high-performance commercial real estate.”