Hidden behind Baden-Württemberg's (BW) romantic picture is a roaring engine of manufacturing and the world's export champion.
The third-largest state in Germany has relied on ingenuity and invention to get where it is today – at the forefront of global innovation. Although titans of industry – such as Daimler, Bosch, Porsche, and SAP – are based in BW, thousands of small and medium-sized companies thrive here too and really drive the economy.
Key industries include automobile manufacturing – as is fitting for the place where the motorcar was invented – mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, health care, and medical technology.
The state devotes massive resources to keeping itself on the cutting edge. About five percent of GDP goes to R&D, and the region files more patent registrations per citizen than any other state. This makes BW the innovation region No. 1 in Europe. There are also more than 70 institutions of higher learning, including world-famous universities in Tübingen and Heidelberg, and over 100 presentations of world-class research organizations, such as the Fraunhofer Society and Max Planck Institute.
These factors have led over 5000 international companies to choose Baden-Württemberg as a business location. Moreover, Baden-Württemberg enchants visitors with the Black Forest, Lake Constance, and its spas, wines, and foods.
The German capital has undergone a fantastic development in the last decade. The city's famous creativity and outstanding research landscape have been complemented by considerable economic power. Berlin has become a magnet for talent from all over the world and the home and birthplace of a constantly growing number of technology companies. The strengths of these young, innovative businesses are particularly in the fields of ICT, media and creative industries, health care, energy technology, transport and photonics.
Companies benefit from Berlin’s central location, the outstanding research environment, the vibrant startup scene and the dynamic labor market. Berlin is the startup center of Europe. In 2017, almost 3 billion euros of venture capital were invested in Berlin startups. The city’s share of total VC financing in Germany was 69%. Almost a third of all German startups are based in Berlin. Employees appreciate the cultural diversity, the moderate cost of living, and the relaxed lifestyle of a green and modern metropolis.
As the capital of the biggest national economy in Europe, it goes without saying that Berlin plays a pivotal role in European Union decision making. It is the heart of the new Europe. And who doesn’t want to be where the action is? Berlin offers excellent infrastructure. The capital region connects Western and Eastern Europe. The Berlin region links western and eastern Europe. It is the nexus of the major European routes that connect the largest single market in the western world.
Brandenburg has developed into a modern, high-quality location: Awarded several times as the most dynamic economic region in Germany, a pioneer in renewable energies, and a region of excellence of the European Union. The economic region around the German Federal Capital of Berlin offers businesses and specialists optimal conditions for their economic success. Brandenburg, which together with Berlin forms Germany’s Capital Region, is as large as Belgium with a surface are of 30,000 km² and more populous than Denmark, Norway or Finland with 6 million inhabitants. The Federal State of Brandenburg has developed into a driver of economic activity in the German Capital Region. Investments pay off here – for international corporations and innovative SMEs alike.
In almost no other region do the many positive locational factors form such a sound and solid basis for economic growth – an excellent infrastructure, high-level science and research competence, qualified and motivated specialists, innovative creativity, cultural highlights and scenic beauty. This unique mix makes Brandenburg an attractive investment location, for example already for global players like ArcelorMittal, Mercedes Benz, Rolls-Royce, Swiss Krono, Thermo Fisher, Vestas or VW.
Companies find in Brandenburg excellent foundations for their economic development. There is a wide range of commercial, industrial and office spaces which are ripe for development. The areas are available in the best locations and at reasonable prices. Trade taxes are also very favourable. They are well below the national average.
Brandenburg’s economic development focuses on strong sectors compacted in growth clusters and on 15 regional growth areas. Companies with high-quality investments receive special support and promotion.
Brandenburg Invest (WFBB), the Brandenburg economic development corporation, is the central point of contact for investors, companies based in the state of Brandenburg and technology-oriented start-ups. WFBB offers a broad array of services for economic development and the promotion of employment: From supporting a company’s establishment and its expansion to promoting innovations, internationalization and networking as well as the acquisition and qualification of a skilled workforce.
General Business Information
The Bremen region may be relatively small, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in its capacity for innovation, commercial strength and entrepreneurial spirit. It is Germany's second-largest industrial hub with port facilities. Bremerhaven container terminal is the fourth largest in Europe and among the 25 largest in the world. The eight universities and colleges teach approximately 37,000 students. Around 50 technology research institutes, such as Fraunhofer and Max Planck institutes, are based in Bremen and help to put new ideas and solutions into practice.
Important Business Sectors
This cosmopolitan city state has expertise in aerospace, the maritime economy and logistics, automotive and the wind energy – and is a global player in all of them. Within the space industries and aeronautics sector, Bremen is home to more than 140 companies and 20 institutes. Primary industry leaders are the Airbus Group, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, OHB and their suppliers. Major products from Bremen are the wings of the Airbus aircraft, the Ariane upper stages or the satellite navigation system GALILEO. The maritime sector accounts for more than 30 per cent of Bremen's economy. Bremerhaven’s container port handles huge volumes of goods, which are processed and transported by some 40,000 people working for more than 1,300 companies. Bremen has also been a centre of automotive production for almost as long as cars have been around. The Mercedes-Benz plant, the city's biggest private employer, makes more than 420,000 vehicles every year (as at 2017) and is the main global plant for the C-Class range. Bremen also plays a key role in wind energy. Today more than 120 companies and institutes employ more than 4,000 people across the industry, with approximately half of them working offshore. Further strong sectors in Bremen are the food and beverage industry, digitalization and the creative industry.
Bremen values international relations. It has the highest export ratio of all German federal states (65.4 per cent in 2017). Companies and investors from around the globe benefit from the one-stop services of Bremeninvest, Bremen’s economic development agency. The Bremeninvest team helps with all matters related to the establishment of subsidiaries, branches and international start-ups. It also provides information about Bremen as an investment location and facilitates collaborations with Bremen-based companies. Representatives are located in China, Vietnam and Turkey.
Entrepreneurial decisions require vision and foresight. »Schleswig-Holstein. Germany‘s True North.« offers the ideal location for your company, and an inspiring environment which makes it easier for you to make the right choice. The northernmost federal state in Germany provides many advantages. Conveniently located for transportation, Schleswig-Holstein is the gateway to the markets in Scandinavia, the Baltic states and in central and eastern Europe. The basis for this is an infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the future. The A7 motorway, as the most important north-south connection in Germany, is being expanded to meet future needs, and will then have 6 lanes along most of the route. The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link will establish another efficient transport connection with Scandinavia. With its fibre optic strategy, Schleswig-Holstein is a pioneer nationwide, and is thereby creating the most state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure in the whole of Germany.
Schleswig-Holstein’s population will continue to develop on a stable basis in the coming years. Qualified, specialist staff are the foundation of a dynamic economy, and ensure that the SME-characterised industry of the state can further expand its strong market position. But it is not only the hard location factors which speak for Schleswig-Holstein. In our federal state, there is close cooperation between business, politics, administration and economic development. We don’t just have lengthy discussions about problems – we resolve them together. There is a good reason why the happiest people in Germany live in the true north! The region between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea is ideally suited for life and work. We cordially invite you: you could also be one of the entrepreneurs with vision and foresight.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Port cities around the globe are the ultimate drivers of innovation. Not only goods are handled here, but also fresh ideas. Ports are platforms for commodities and ideas that are subsequently translated into innovation.
Hamburg has been a port city and trading centre for more than one thousand years. And ever since the rise of the industrial revolution in the second half of the 18th century, this traditional merchants’ town gradually turned into a major industrial location too. In the course of this, technology, productivity and research advanced at a rapid pace, laying the foundations for modern-day Hamburg.
Today, as digitisation has initiated a new industrial revolution, Hamburg is once again ahead of the game when it comes to leveraging new technological opportunities for the benefit of Hamburg’s residents and for developing new processes and products. With its broad industry base, Hamburg provides a solid foundation for this. In Hamburg, the future is built on tradition.
The best ideas are worthless if they don´t lead to innovative products. Hamburg businesses have a reputation for contributing to the world market by continuously enhancing and expanding their range of products. Especially companies in aviation, medical technology, renewable energies, mechanical engineering and pharmaceuticals are true patent champions.
Well-known brands here include Philips, Airbus, Beiersdorf, tesa, Hauni, Still, Jungheinrich, Olympus, Eppendorf, Lufthansa Technik, Navigon, Weinmann Medical Technology, Senvion, Nordex and NXP Semiconductors. In addition, there are various “hidden champions” that create and develop products for the global marketplace from Hamburg and the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
The Brothers Grimm made Hessen famous for its castles and forests, and the Rheingau has always been renowned for its wines. But Hessen’s real claim to fame is Germany's most international and energetic city:
Frankfurt am Main has Germany's tallest buildings and highest GDP, and as continental Europe’s financial capital – home to Germany's stock exchange, the Bundesbank, and the European Central Bank – it has earned nicknames such as “Mainhatten” and “Bankfurt.”
Frankfurt also draws countless international companies – General Electric, Canon, Motorola, Honda, Procter & Gamble – who want to be close to Europe' center of action. Moreover, it attracts an amazing 20 percent of Germany’s overall foreign direct investment to Hessen.
The city also hosts a number of major international trade fairs, featuring everything from consumer goods and books to automobiles. Likewise, its central location in Germany makes it a hub for road and rail traffic, and its international airport sees more travelers than any other airport in the country.
Although almost three out of four companies in Hessen fall into the service industries, there is also much manufacturing in the sectors of machine building, electronic engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and automotive. The region is also famous for its cultural offerings, such as Darmstadt' Art Nouveau buildings or Kassel's “documenta,” the world's most important modern and contemporary art exhibition.
In the glass facade of the highest house of the world, in every car built in Germany, in every Aspirin and in every perfume Chanel No. 5 – in all of it, there is a piece of Saxony-Anhalt. The industrial scenery in Saxony-Anhalt is characterized by traditional, but also by anew emerging industries. Saxony-Anhalt is the state with the right mix: it is both an impressive industrial location and a great place to call home. Mountains crisscrossed by hiking paths roll into plains where wind farms stretch across the horizon.
Located in the centre of Germany, Saxony-Anhalt is highly valued by foreign investors and leads the Eastern German federal states with foreign direct investments. In Saxony-Anhalt, international investors find an attractive investment environment. The lead markets, which are supported by the federal state with their commercial and scientific development, are based on the dynamic power of growing industries, as well as the strength of the traditional branches in the state.
The industry in Saxony-Anhalt is widely diversified and includes everything from automotive supply production and mechanical engineering to information technology, biotechnology, and medical technology. However, the real economic powerhouses are the mechanical and plant engineering, logistics and the chemical industries. Global players like Bayer, Total, and Dow Chemical back a flourishing chemical industry.
The established industries in the federal state offer attractive value-added chains with local companies in which investors can find the raw materials or technologies that they require. It therefore comes as no surprise that the top foreign investments in Saxony-Anhalt not only included investors who have opted to set up locally – the numerous expansion investment projects are also a testament to the excellent quality of location in terms of economic growth.
Graduates from 2 universities, 12 universities of applied science and 12 research institutes are highly demanded by companies because of their excellent skills and capacity for innovation. Low labor costs combined with high productivity make Saxony-Anhalt a model for business efficiency. Natural beauty and numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites also add to the attractiveness of Saxony-Anhalt.
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is the most populous state in Germany. With its 17.9 million inhabitants, there are more people living here than in the neighboring Netherlands. At around 691.5 billion euros, they generate more than one-fifth of the total German gross domestic product. Some 160 million people live within a radius of 500 kilometers (311 miles) around the state capital Düsseldorf. No other European metropolitan region possesses such purchasing power.
The size of the market and the favorable location conditions attracts companies from all over the world to the Rhine and Ruhr. Around 20,000 foreign companies have already invested in NRW and control their German or European activities from here. They make NRW the No.1 investment location in Germany.
All major European cities can be reached within three hours from the two major international airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn, Germany's third-largest cargo airport. A dense network of waterways, railways and roads provides fast routes to the sales and procurement markets in Europe and the rest of the world. In Duisburg, the world's largest inland port ensures reliable connections to the Belgian and Dutch seaports.
More than 110 technology centers and non-university research institutes in the state form the densest research network in Europe and provide ideal conditions for technology transfer. And the wide range of studies offered by the 70 universities and universities of applied sciences ensures that companies from all industries can find qualified employees here.
Renowned theaters and museums, five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sports events and cultural festivals all contribute to one of the richest cultural landscapes in Europe.
In Thuringia there flourishes a pioneering and inventive spirit, new ideas and innovations that can change the world. Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott long ago laid the foundation for today’s optics industry and the productive coaction of industry and science in Thuringia’s Jena. Thuringia has been building on that ever since – for example with a diverse research environment with nine universities and technical colleges for a start, a total of 14 institutes of the Fraunhofer, Leibniz, Max-Planck and Helmholtz Association and eight business-related research institutes.
A central location at the heart of Europe, an efficient infrastructure, ICE and motorway hubs, large and attractive industrial parks and people who want to make a difference; all of this comprises a unique combination of locational advantages which makes the state a sought-after address for investors from around the world. For enterprises looking for interdisciplinary collaboration with innovative partners, Thuringia is bursting with opportunities to make connections, as the state’s economy is characterised by a diverse mix of industries and a vibrant research and innovation culture.
Thuringia has now become the state with the highest economic growth rate since 1990 and the most industrial companies per 100,000 inhabitants – and the economic dynamism of the past few years is reflected in the lowest unemployment rate in the five former East German states. Entrepreneurs and skilled workers are attracted by a high quality of life: Thuringia is the country of castles and palaces, possesses in cities like Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar and Jena the domains of famous poets, thinkers and artists such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Franz Liszt or Otto Dix. Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Thuringia, here it was that the reformer Martin Luther was ordained priest, here in the nineteen-twenties the Bauhaus invented new forms of expression for art and architecture.