Germany's No. 1 investment location
  2. NRW as location
  3. This speaks well for NRW
  4. Germany's No. 1 investment location

Germany's No. 1 investment location

More than 19,000 foreign companies have already invested in NRW and control their German or European activities from here. These include global concerns such as 3M, BP, Ericsson, Ford, Huawei, QVC, UPS, Toyota and Vodafone. They make NRW the No. 1 investment location in Germany, as more investment flows to NRW from abroad than to any other German federal state: NRW accounts for 27.0 percent of all foreign direct investments (FDI) in Germany. Foreign companies have thus become an important employer in the state, providing jobs for about one million people.

Strong business location for foreign direct investments

NRW is the No. 1 region for foreign capital in Germany. With 180.9 billion euros at the end of 2015, the state recorded the highest percentage (27.0 percent) of all 16 federal states of direct investments in Germany, which totaled 670 billion euros.

For financial investors in particular, the investment location NRW is an exceptionally attractive destination. The ranking of the direct investments from which the purely financial investments have been excluded also shows that NRW continues to be by far the most important destination for direct investments. Here NRW has reached a current level of 147.1 billion euros, corresponding to a national share of 31.8%.

Excluding Luxembourg due to its special role as a financial hub, the Netherlands is the largest investor in NRW. It accounts for 19.7% of the direct investment volume in the state, followed by the USA (6.7 %) and France (6.5%).

Also leading in investment projects

While the general trend of investment activity in western Europe is declining slightly, the Federal Republic of Germany continues to assert itself as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) – since 2010 the number of foreign investment projects in Germany has risen continuously. With a share of 23% of all foreign direct investments in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia tops the list when compared with the other federal states.

In 2016, the investment location North Rhine-Westphalia recorded 413 greenfield and expansion projects. The top 5 investor countries for investment projects in North Rhine-Westphalia are Greater China, the USA and the Netherlands, followed by Turkey and Japan.

Sources: fDi Markets, EIM European Investment Monitor, GTAI, own survey

Top places in the "fDi - European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19" Award

European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/17 - Overall Regions Winner - NRW

Both the figures and the survey results confirm NRW as the No. 1 investment location: In this year's ranking "European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018" conducted by fDi Magazine, a subsidiary of the British business paper Financial Times, in a Europe-wide comparison of the large regions with more than four million inhabitants, NRW occupies first place in the category "Human Capital and Lifestyle" ahead of the regions South East England and Paris. One of the decisive criteria for North Rhine-Westphalia‘s top ranking is the density of universities, colleges and other research institutes in the state. NRW also scores well with its large number of students, around 92,000 of whom come from abroad. The new awards confirm the unbroken attractiveness and efficiency of the business location.


Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf
Navigate here with Google Maps

Find a contact person

Germany’s No. 1 Economic Region

The excellent infrastructure, the central location and the high qualifications of the people make North Rhine-Westphalia an economic power of international standing. In terms of numerous economic statistics, NRW is world class.

Service for investors

NRW.INVEST accompanies an investment project confidentially from the first step to successful completion.


Business and Investors Forum China, Duesseldorf

All Events