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Exciting Markets

One-Stop-Agency strengthens Investment Site North Rhine-Westphalia


In the course of the last years NRW has become the favourite investment location in Europe for Chinese companies.


North Rhine-Westphalia has developed into the leading European investment site. NRW.INVEST is there to offer support and consulting to investors.

W e are the contact point for investments in North Rhine-Westphalia. Potential national and international investors will find one-stop service here, including everything from site information to property search, information on residence, work and tax law provisions to mediating and supporting interviews or approval procedures,« explains Petra Wassner, management head of the state-owned business development company.

With about 18 million citizens, the Federal State is settled more densely than the Netherlands or Japan. At over 300 billion Euros, North Rhine-Westphalia produces almost a quarter of the annual private consumption in Germany. Additionally, more than 150 million people are living here, in an area of ca. 500 kilometres around the state capital of Düsseldorf – representing about one third of all European consumers and a whole 45 per cent of the European Union purchasing power. In and around North Rhine-Westphalia, there are obviously exciting markets to sell to. »Comparing the most important business and industry sites in Europe, North Rhine-Westphalia as a business site can compete with agglomeration areas such as Ile de France, Randstad in the Netherlands or the Greater London Area,« Petra Wassner points out.

Recently, Chinese companies reacted on the NRW.INVEST‘s initiative to make use of this: telecommunications providers Huawei or ZTE already settled in the area. »Due to our consistent activities in the Middle Kingdom, Chinese entrepreneurs have become the largest investors‘ group in the past few years. Last year alone, 47 companies settled here,« Petra Wassner goes on. NRW.INVEST was able to win table-tennis pro  Timo Boll to support this work; since 2009 he has been the »Ambassador of North Rhine-Westphalia«, advertising the region to Chinese investors in the scope of the international site marketing campaign »We love the new«.

Timo Boll

»In China as well as in NRW, supporting talented newcomers in sports and management training are very important. Acting as an ambassador for our region is an important experience for me.«

Timo Boll, Europe‘s best table tennis pro and »Ambassador of North Rhine-Westphalia«


In Düsseldorf's »Media Harbour« approximately 600 companies with 7,600 employees can be found.


Attractive Economic Power

The region between the Rhine and Ruhr rivers is the strongest business site in Germany. This also applies for the media industry. At the moment, more than 65,000 media and communications businesses are located in the state, permanently employing more than 342,000 persons. The turnover achieved by the industry was approximately 118 billion Euro – much more than in all other Federal states. With the Cologne  TV channels RTL and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, the state is one of the most important TV sites in Europe. In the area of digital media, North Rhine-Westphalia also is the preferred site for various leading companies such as Electronic Arts or OnVista. Last but not least, the top industry events taking place here, gamescom, Medienforum.NRW and dmexco, also drive home the leading position of the state as a media site. Furthermore, North Rhine-Westphalia offers perfect production conditions, professional production teams and media service providers, as well as great financing opportunities such as the Filmstiftung NRW or the Medien.NRW funding competition.

A Place to Live

North Rhine-Westphalia, however, does not convince international investors with hard facts alone. In particular, they value the high quality of life at this site, in the large cities like Cologne, Dortmund, Essen or Düsseldorf as well as in the rural areas, e.g. at the Lower Rhine or Münsterland. This diversity is already valued by approx. 11,500 international companies. With good reason: North Rhine-Westphalia has been one of the most attractive sites for foreign direct investment in Europe and Germany for years. At the end of 2010, the country held the greatest percentage of all 16 Federal States by far where direct investment into Germany was concerned – at a total of about 190 billion Euro or 30 per cent.


NRW.INVEST GmbH, headquartered in the state capital of Düsseldorf, was founded in 1960 as »Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung Nordrhein-Westfalen mbH (GfW)«. NRW.INVEST is the first contact point for foreign investors. It offers extensive information on the location as well as support in approval and residence rights questions. International companies already based in NRW can make use of NRW.INVEST in particular where expansions, new foundings and spin-offs are concerned. NRW.INVEST cooperates closely with the local and regional business development institutions, chambers of industry and commerce and the state government in all matters. In addition to its two subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., it is also present in China, India, Korea and Turkey.

Economic Development Agency of the Federal State of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW)

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf
Phone 02 11/1 30 00-0
Fax 02 11/1 30 00-154
Managing Director: Petra Wassner

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