Chief Executive Officer
Petra Wassner has been Chief Executive Officer of NRW.INVEST GmbH since 2001. She has been working in economic development for more than 20 years. Having originally graduated in political and social sciences, she has worked in various positions for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Initially, the main focus of her work was on the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as on the areas business start-ups, company succession and corporate restructuring, and the establishment of cooperation networks of municipal and regional economic development facilities in North Rhine-Westphalia. She is an expert on concepts and strategies for economic development, has both domestic and international experience and devised and established an in-service study course in economic development. For the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia she established the network of NRW.INVEST's international offices and promotes dialog with international investors in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Her core tasks at NRW.INVEST include international marketing for North Rhine-Westphalia as a business, innovation and digital location, as well as the acquisition and accompaniment of international investment projects. Petra Wassner is a member of the Board of Directors of NRW Japan K.K.
From July 2007 until April 2018, Petra Wassner was the spokeswoman of the economic development agencies of the German Federal States, which in April 2008 formed the AG WFB (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaften der Bundesländer / Working Group of the Economic Development Agencies of the Federal States). She was chairperson of the expert advisory committee of Germany Trade and Invest GmbH (GTAI) from September 2008 until April 2018.
In September 2016, Petra Wassner was honored with the National Friendship Award of the People's Republic of China for her 15-year commitment to expand Sino-German economic relations.