Economic and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and Petra Wassner, CEO of the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST honored four foreign companies for their outstanding investments and their clear commitment to North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location. This year's NRW.INVEST Award went to the US online retailer Amazon, the British systems house Computacenter, the Japanese high-tech company Shimadzu and the Chinese automotive supplier Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.
"International investors are of great importance to our state. They are major employers, drivers of innovation and economic engines at the same time. We honor these significant contributions with the presentation of the NRW.INVEST Award," explained Minister Pinkwart. "This year's award winners are making a special contribution to raising the profile of North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location in logistics, the automotive sector and digitization."
"Our award winners come from many different countries and regions around the world. They show that NRW can hold its own in the increasing competition for international investors, also thanks to an active settlement policy," Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST, said in summary. "We want to convince investors of the locational advantages of North Rhine-Westphalia, particularly in the area of future technologies such as digitization and electromobility."
Last year, the number of new settlements and expansion investments by foreign companies in North Rhine-Westphalia increased to 421, creating around 9,750 jobs, particularly in the Ruhr Metropolis and in the Aachen and Düsseldorf regions.
The winners of the NRW.INVEST AWARD 2018 at a glance:
Amazon: The US online retailer has greatly expanded its presence in North Rhine-Westphalia in recent years. Since the start of logistics activities eight years ago in Rheinberg and Werne, further locations in Bochum, Dortmund and Krefeld in various functions were added in 2017. In addition, Amazon operates a research and development center in Aachen. More locations for example in Mönchengladbach are planned. Amazon provides full-time employment for about 6,500 people in NRW.
Computacenter: The British IT service provider supplies complete computer networks including software and hardware to companies and public clients and is one of the highest-grossing system houses in Germany. For 25 years Computacenter has been located in Kerpen, where the construction of a new German headquarters began last year with an investment of 40 million euros. In addition, the company is renting a further 29,000 square meters in a logistics center to expand its configuration and logistics capacities.
Shimadzu: The Japanese company is the world's leading developer and supplier of analytical instruments, laboratory technology and medical devices. Founded in 1875, it settled in Düsseldorf as early as 1968 and has had its European headquarters in Duisburg since 1987. The Shimadzu European Innovation Center was opened there last year: an innovative think tank that combines academic scientific and technical know-how and develops innovative solutions specifically for customers. Shimadzu employs around 230 people in NRW.
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors: The Chinese automotive supplier specializes in vehicle interiors and is the world leader in this segment. The product spectrum ranges from center consoles, door and instrument panels to intelligent surfaces. Since Yanfeng Automotive Interiors was founded in 2015, it has had its European headquarters with around 600 employees in Neuss, from where 15 additional locations in Europe are managed. In February 2018, the company opened a new innovation center. Here, work is being conducted in various disciplines on the car interior of the future.
Pictures of the winners and the award ceremony will be available from 26 June 2018, 11.00 a.m., at https://www.nrwinvest.com/de/mediathek/