Antony Kildare, chief executive, CEDC, said of the Cannes conference: "With 18,000 participants from some 79 countries and 4,000 investors, end-users and hotel groups involved, MIPIM is the biggest stage for inward investment in global terms.

"That’s why it’s crucial that we are represented at MIPIM 2010, to show the world what a fantastic investment opportunity we have here in Croydon.

“This year MIPIM is expected to take on even greater significance as we emerge from recession.

"This is a critical time for the local economy as investors and developers are gearing up to benefit from new opportunities that the economic downturn has created for them.

"That’s why this event is vital to Croydon’s economy – acquiring inward investment will make an impact on the economy at all levels.

"By attracting new companies to the area, at huge international events such as MIPIM, we will be able to generate wealth across the board – by creating jobs and bringing new commercial opportunity into the area.

“This year we will be showcasing the superb commercial, retail, residential and cultural opportunities already on offer in Croydon.

"We’re talking about the facts here; the superb transport links, the burgeoning youthful population, the £1bn annual retail spend, the wide range of excellent housing, our green open spaces and exciting regeneration schemes.

“Croydon is already a great place to invest, but it’s only going to get better and the plans for redevelopment are hugely impressive.

"We need to get the message out – the time to invest in Croydon is right now.”