Réunion is a French overseas department with an exceptional natural wealth. The island is remote and vulnerable to climate change, but can count on a young and dynamic population to promote its assets. AFD is assisting it on the path to sustainable economic development.
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Mountain, Salazie, Réunion, territory
AFD and Réunion : strengthening social cohesion and preserving the environment
ZAC, Pierrefonds, Réunion

Supporting public policies

Réunion, public policies, ZAC

Supporting public policies

From territorial authorities to associations, the public sector plays a major role on the island. It guides economic activities and creates employment.

AFD supports public actors in three sectors:

  • Essential services and the environment: drinking water, wastewater treatment, waste, energy efficiency and renewable energies;
  • Transport infrastructure: public transport, the port and airports;
  • Social services: healthcare, medical-social, education.

For a few years now, AFD has been developing partnerships with large public entities, with the aim of supporting multi-year investment programs with an extensive territorial impact. We are also working alongside the smallest municipalities to finance their priority equipment and facilitate their access to credit.

Promoting employment

ESAT, Réunion, work, employment

Promoting employment

In Réunion, job-creating sectors such as agribusiness, transport and tourism have strong development potential. But the island can also count on innovative sectors such as biotechnologies and clean energies.

AFD is supporting the development and structuring of these high-potential sectors:

  • We are contributing to strengthening the equity of private companies, in support of local banks;
  • We are financing their productive investments, with a focus on projects with environmental and social cohesion benefits;
  • We are supporting business networking and innovations for technological adaptation to tropical markets (building materials and bioclimatic architecture);
  • We are increasing access for companies to the financing offered by Bpifrance.

Sustainably developing the territory

Réunion, sustainable cities

Sustainably developing the territory

The island’s natural wealth is one of the keys to its future. 40% of the territory is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The local public authorities are aware of this wealth and have adopted a policy to preserve the environmental capital of Réunion.

For AFD, the sustainable development of the territory needs to reconcile environmental issues and social cohesion. To achieve this, AFD supports both public and private project initiators. Our action involves:

  • Supporting the urban planning of Réunion’s local authorities;
  • Supporting eco-urban development projects;
  • Building social and intermediate housing;
  • Financing operations to refurbish housing for energy saving (electricity and lighting in the communal parts, equipment with solar water heaters) or water saving.

Promoting regional integration

climate workshop, Réunion, Indian Ocean regional cooperation

Promoting regional integration

The South-West Indian Ocean islands have varying levels of development. But beyond these inequalities, there are common challenges. Increasing trade and preserving regional common goods are consequently essential for the balanced development of territories in the region. Regional cooperation proves much more effective than stand-alone actions.

AFD operates in all the countries in the region, where it supports the dissemination of Réunion’s know-how and networking for actors who promote transfers of regional expertise. How?

  • By organizing regional seminars;
  • By disseminating business opportunities in the Indian Ocean;
  • By creating financing synergies for regional projects.
million euros committed in 2017
m² of offices and commercial premises created since 2013
MW of renewable energies installed since 2011

Réunion is the most populous French overseas department. By 2030, the island will have a million inhabitants.

With an exceptional natural heritage – 40% of the island’s surface area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site – Réunion has major assets. It also benefits from a good level of training and qualification, local know-how adapted to the tropical environment and an increasing openness to its regional area.

However, major social, economic and environmental challenges still need to be addressed: the young population is faced with high structural unemployment, and there is a major climate change impact on the island, which is located on the path of cyclones from the South-West Indian Ocean.

Creating new environmentally-friendly growth drivers is one of the keys for the future.

AFD has a longstanding 70-year partnership with Réunion. It supports local public policies, with the aim of defining a sustainable economic model. Thanks to its financing and expertise, AFD provides support to both public and private actors.

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