At the crossroads of trade with Europe and the rest of the world, Lyon continues to strengthen its visibility and influence on the international scene. By mobilizing its resources and leveraging its strategic international networks, the Lyon metropolitan area promotes international exchanges between economic players, residents and tourists.
Gateway to Europe and the world
Thanks to its strategic position, Lyon is a real gateway to the world: all of Europe is under 2 hours away and the airport offers service to over 120 destinations.
Ideally situated at the crossroads of Europe, the Lyon region offers an ideal location for rolling out your business activities to foreign markets and for your international exchanges.
Cooperation with partners around the world
Lyon is part of a network of 24 partner cities on every continent, working on various cooperation projects.
These represent opportunities for you to promote your company beyond national borders and develop your activities internationally.
The city is also the founder and an active member of 4 international networks:
- Délice, a platform for discussing the role of gastronomy and food in the tourism, economic and environmental development of local areas
- LUCI, the international network of cities for urban lighting and lighting festivals (Festival of Lights)
- Eurocities, which has 140 European member cities striving to ensure that the voice of cities is recognised by the European institutions.
- Silky Cities, the international network for cities with a dynamic silk industry.
The Lyon metropolitan area can count on its 27,000 ONLYLYON ambassadors in 120 countries, to promote the city and its advantages.
You, too, can join the network and enhance Lyon’s reputation internationally!
The support of the European Union also enables Lyon to be involved in numerous continental projects. Whether they’re sponsored or supported by Métropole de Lyon, the programmes of the European Commission finance innovative pilot experiments aiming to design the City of the Future.
And, every year, the local area receives 6.2 million euros from the European Social Fund to foster employment and economic and social cohesion.
When Lyon welcomes you from around the globe
International companies and institutions
The Lyon metropolitan area has 388 foreign-owned entities, employing 57,800 employees throughout the area (Source: CCI Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes 2017). These include decision centres and leading companies, such as Renault Trucks, Electronic Arts, Sanofi, Bayer CropScience, Alstom, Hermès, Bank of China and Euronews.
Several renowned international institutions have also chosen to set up in Lyon. These include the World Health Organization (WHO) part of the United Nations (UN) with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the P4 Jean Mérieux-Inserm Laboratory and Interpol - the International Criminal Police Organisation.
When it comes to schools, several international courses and degrees are available for young expats, from nursery school to university.
Find out more about international schooling.
Lyon attracts 20,000 international students, who represent 12% of the student population in the metropolitan area (Source: MESRI - Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Education and the University of Lyon 2016-2017).
Local services for your international development
A collective of local partners is mobilised every day to help existing companies to export and to facilitate international trade.
Is your company already set up in the Lyon region? Get our advice and support to develop your international projects.
- If you would like to get support for your export strategy, our Team France Export offers you dedicated solutions focusing on the Auvergne–Rhône-Alpes Region.
- If you need help to complete your export procedures, our staff at the Lyon Métropole Saint-Étienne Roanne Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Administrative Procedures Center help you.
- If you would like to find out more about existing opportunities for international relationships and partnerships in the local area, our Métropole de Lyon's team of specialists in international relations inform you.