Düsseldorf. North Rhine-Westphalia continued the positive trend in foreign direct investments and remained the leading investment location in Germany for foreign companies in 2017. Last year, the number of new settlements and expansion investments rose to 421, and the number of new jobs created in North Rhine-Westphalia also increased. Around 9,750 potential jobs represent an increase of more than 13 percent over the previous year. These are the figures reported by the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST.
"North Rhine-Westphalia is an extremely sought-after location for investments, not only because of its infrastructure, but also because of its location. From here, companies reach their markets in Europe very quickly. 200 million people can be reached within a radius of just 500 kilometers. In addition, investors value our unique scientific landscape and our highly trained specialists. This is demonstrated by the many new jobs created by investment. Both together mean optimal conditions for successful and sustainable settlements and investments by foreign companies," explains Economics and Digital Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.
Among the investor countries, Greater China held its own at the top. 96 investment projects came from the People's Republic. For the first time, Turkey took second place ahead of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Companies from France, Switzerland and Austria also increased their investments in NRW last year. With 1,470 potential jobs, the USA remains the job engine.
"The high quality of NRW as a business location and our service in the target countries convince investors worldwide," says Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "Particularly when it comes to logistics and production, the state attracts major investment projects." Investments by Amazon (USA) in new parcel distribution centers in Bochum and Krefeld alone will create 450 new jobs. Galeria Kaufhof (Canada) in Zülpich and the Italian pharmaceutical wholesaler Sanacorp in Hürth also invested in new logistics centers for their online business.
In the production area, Ford (USA) expanded its production facilities in Cologne at a cost of 293 million euros for the series production of the Ford Fiesta, creating 300 new jobs. Up to 1,000 new jobs will be created by the expansion of the production halls of Lindt & Sprüngli (Switzerland) in Aachen.
NRW is also an attractive location for the digital economy. E-Shelter, a subsidiary of Japanese NTT Communications, invested 50 million euros in a new colocation data center in Bonn. AMA Xpert Eye, a French company that produces and sells video conference glasses, founded a limited liability company in Cologne and the Danish startup "Too Good to Go" opened its German headquarters in Düsseldorf.
The Düsseldorf region remained NRW's leading location in 2017 with 37 percent of all investment projects, followed by the Ruhr Metropolis with 18 percent and the Cologne/Bonn region with 17 percent. Nearly one third of the potential new jobs were created in the Ruhr Metropolis. The Aachen and Düsseldorf regions follow in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
NRW is Germany's No. 1 investment location, with more than 19,000 foreign companies controlling their German or European activities from here. In total, international companies employ more than one million people in NRW.