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NRW.INVEST is the economic development agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It deals with the acquisition of and support for foreign investors and the international marketing for NRW as a business location.[1] As One-Stop-Agency for foreign investors, NRW.INVEST supports mainly international companies with their investment projects and settlements in NRW throughout the entire settlement process.[2][3] NRW.INVEST maintains two subsidiaries in Japan and the United States as well as thirteen representative offices in China, India, Israel, Korea, Poland, Russia and Turkey. The sole shareholder of NRW.INVEST is the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 2010 the state economic development agency NRW.INVEST celebrated its 50th anniversary. When it was founded in 1960, the former “Rheinisch-Westfälische Industrieförderungsgesellschaft” was commissioned by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to recruit new industries to succeed the crisis-stricken mining industry.[4]

The new logo of the economic development agency NRW.INVEST

The Mission[edit]

As business location North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is in direct competition with the major European metropolitan regions Greater London, Île-de-France, and West-Nederland as well as other strong business locations worldwide.[5][6][7] Acknowledging the importance of foreign investments in times of globalization, NRW.INVEST aims to boost the location of foreign companies in NRW.[8]

Activities / Service[edit]

To promote NRW internationally as the business location in Europe, NRW.INVEST offers foreign investors an extensive service through all stages of the investment. In these concerns NRW.INVEST cooperates closely with the Federal State government and the regional institutions for economic development in NRW.
NRW.INVEST is set up in specialized country and industry teams that are experienced in all aspects of the location business.[9]

The teams located at NRW.INVEST’s headquarters in Düsseldorf, the capital of NRW, and the teams on site at the representative offices and subsidiaries provide comprehensive information about NRW as an investment location, describe important aspects of the state's economic structure and industry clusters, and give answers to tax-related and legal questions. Besides general information, NRW.INVEST provides potential investors with tailor-made information depending on their specific needs. On request, in-house experts analyze investors’ investment plans and find the right location for company settlements in NRW.
The database Germansite is an additional service for investors searching for a business location in NRW. Detailed geo-information of over 1,000 vacant commercial sites in NRW is available to the user, including the contact data of the respective contact person.[10][11]
NRW.INVEST supports investors in practical issues such as visa applications as well as the entire licensing procedure that comes with a business set-up in NRW. The agency acts as a guide to the appropriate authorities and a mediator between the investor and the responsible institutions.
Investing in a new location does not stop after the initial set-up of the business. Further administrative processes are ongoing; a good share of the foreign companies in NRW start expanding and growing. Therefore, NRW.INVEST also offers aftercare services. With various series of events and a broad range of support and consulting services NRW.INVEST maintains continuous contact with investors in the State to ensure that they feel at home in North Rhine-Westphalia and can grow successfully here. In specific cases the team in Düsseldorf offers solution-oriented services by attending to investors’ questions and concerns regarding expansion investments, growth finance or administrative procedures.
Being a global organization NRW.INVEST cooperates with many international institutions. The agency is a member of organizations like the German-French Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, ChemCologne,[12] Chemsite,[13] British Chamber of Commerce in Germany,[14] the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the Turkish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.[15]

Activities Abroad[edit]

Maintaining its head office in Düsseldorf, two subsidiaries, and thirteen representative offices, NRW.INVEST is an international organization. The local staff at the subsidiaries and representative offices actively approach foreign companies in those areas where NRW is highly successful and attractive for foreign investments. They provide investors with first-hand information, practical advice for establishing business in NRW, and the necessary contacts. The offices abroad therefore often serve as the first link in the service chain of NRW.INVEST.
For the past two years NRW.INVEST has increased its activities abroad, particularly in the growth markets India and Turkey. The increasing inclusion of these nations in the world's economy is expected to bring about a significant rise in foreign investment. For this reason, the agency opened a branch office in the Indian city of Pune in the middle of 2007[16] and set up a representation in Istanbul in January 2008. The importance of the NRW.INVEST foreign offices is demonstrated by the example of Japan. Thanks to the representation in Tokyo and the intensive acquisition measures conducted there, NRW has developed into an important location for Japanese companies. More than 600 Japanese firms are now located in the state, earning Düsseldorf the nickname “Little Tokyo”.[17] NRW.INVEST maintains further representative offices in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai,[18][19] Chengdu, Guangzhou,[20] Sichuan,[21] Seoul, Silicon Valley, St. Petersburg,[22] Moscow, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.[23] Another subsidiary is based in Chicago.

Foreign Direct Investments in NRW[edit]

Volume of Foreign direct investments in Germany 2015 (in EUR billion), Source: Deutsche Bundesbank 5/2017, position: end of 2015

North Rhine-Westphalia attracts companies from both Germany and abroad, 19 of the 50 German companies with the highest sales are based in NRW, including Bayer, Bertelsmann, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Henkel, Metro, Rewe, RWE and ThyssenKrupp. The state can rightly claim the most foreign direct investments (FDI) anywhere in Germany.[24]

With 27 percent (180.9 billion euros) North Rhine-Westphalia recorded by far the highest direct investment share in Germany of all 16 federal states in 2015.[25][26] More than 19,000 foreign companies from the most important investment countries control their German or European operations from bases in North Rhine-Westphalia. This means that almost a quarter of the foreign companies in Germany are domiciled in North Rhine-Westphalia. These include many international global players such as BP, 3M, Ericsson, Ford, Fujitsu, Huawei, QVC, Toyota, UPS and Vodafone. The companies employ a total of over one million people.


  1. ^ Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia | Investing in NRW
  2. ^ NRW.INVEST Service for Investors NRW.INVEST Service for Investors
  3. ^ American Chamber of Commerce | Regional Economic Development Agencies
  4. ^ 1960-2010 NRW.INVEST 50 years dedicated to the business location North-Rhine Westphalia
  5. ^ Welt am Sonntag - Das Ausland entdeckt den Standort NRW Welt am Sonntag Main Article on NRW's growing importance as business location for foreign investors and NRW.INVEST's contribution, May 25th, 2008.
  6. ^ Wirtschaftswoche - NRW auf dem Weg zur globalen Drehscheibe WirtschaftsWoche, the largest economy magazine in Germany, appearing weekly. Main Article on NRW's growing importance as international hub and business location, June 6th, 2008.
  7. ^ Düsseldorf Wirtschaft - NRW erste Wahl für ausländische Investoren Article on North Rhine-Westphalia being the first choice for foreign investors in Germany, March 15th, 2012.
  8. ^ China Radio International | CRI Online Transcript and Original audio data of radio broadcast on potential for Chinese investments in logistics in NRW, June 25th, 2008.
  9. ^ Investment Guide to North Rhine-Westphalia, published by NRW.INVEST
  10. ^ Exhibitor Data Base NRW.INVEST exhibiting Germansite at the Expo Real, International Commercial Property Exposition.
  11. ^ Gewerbeflächen in NRW online suchen Handwerksblatt, online portal and print magazine for craft and trade, publication on the establishment of Germansite, September 2007
  12. ^ ChemCologne | Links[permanent dead link] ChemCologne is an association that sets out to develop the region's attractiveness and competitiveness for the chemical industry in NRW.
  13. ^ ChemSite | Members The ChemSite Initiative offers investors from the chemical and related industries a comprehensive range of services at seven high-tech sites in the Ruhr region.
  14. ^ British Chamber of Commerce in Germany British Chamber of Commerce in Germany.
  15. ^ Türkisch-Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer | Mitgliederliste
  16. ^ Express India - Germany’s richest state to set up India headquarters in Pune
  17. ^ The City of Düsseldorf
  18. ^ Die Welt, Chinesische Konzerne auf großer Einkaufstour
  19. ^ Deutsche Welle, From 'Made in China' to 'Made in Germany' Deutsche Welle, Article in Chinese investors in North-Rhine Westphalia, 24.09.2012
  20. ^ Guangdong News, German economic development agency opens Guangzhou office Guangdong News, German economic development agency opens Guangzhou office, 8. Juli 2014
  21. ^ FMM-Magazin, Nordrhein-Westfalen eröffnet Auslandsniederlassung im chinesischen Sichuan FMM-Magazin, Nordrhein-Westfalen eröffnet Auslandsniederlassung im chinesischen Sichuan, 29. Mai 2015
  22. ^ OWC Verlag für Außenwirtschaft, NRW.INVEST eröffnet Repräsentanz in St. Petersburg OWC Verlag für Außenwirtschaft, Article on NRW.INVEST opening its representative office in St. Petersburg, 05.10.2012
  23. ^ DIE WELT, NRW wirbt in Polen um Investoren DIE WELT, NRW wirbt in Polen um Investoren, 28. April 2016
  24. ^ FOCUS - Ausländische Investoren fliegen auf Nordrhein-Westfalen Focus, Article about foreign investors in North Rhine-Westphalia, 15.07.2012
  25. ^ Die Welt, Düsseldorf schlägt alle anderen deutschen Städte
  26. ^ OWC, Rekordergebnis bei Unternehmensansiedlungen in NRW OWC, Rekordergebnis bei Unternehmensansiedlungen in NRW, 09. Juni 2015

External links[edit]