North Rhine-Westphalia

About North Rhine-Westphalia

NRW is the most important economic region in Germany and has for years been one of the most popular locations for foreign companies in Europe. For them, NRW is an innovative and cosmopolitan state offering optimal opportunities for growth. NRW generates more than one-fifth of the total German GDP. Almost one third of all EU consumers live within a radius of 500 km around the state capital Düsseldorf and the size of the market attracts companies to the Rhine and Ruhr. NRW is home to large industrial corporations of world standing as well as dozens of smaller companies which are leaders in their respective business fields. More than 20,000 foreign companies conduct their German or European business activities from here.

  1. The heart of the German economy beats in NRW
  2. Germany’s number-one investment location
  3. World-renowned logistics expertise
  4. Where the next generation is growing

Reasons for North Rhine-Westphalia

NRW is the strongest industrial region in Europe and home to large industrial corporations of world standing as well as dozens of smaller companies. More investments flow to NRW from abroad than to any other German federal state: The state accounts for more than one-quarter of all foreign direct investments in Germany. NRW scores with direct links to the Belgian and Dutch seaports by water, road and rail, a close-knit infrastructure, six airports with connections to cities all over the world as well as the world’s largest inland port in Duisburg. NRW is a state of highly qualified workers and academics. This is ensured by 70 universities and universities of applied sciences where more than 773,000 students are studying in order to prepare for a successful future career.

Success Story

The Japanese company Shimadzu 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 in 2017 – 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.

In 2018, Shimadzu Europe was winner of the NRW.INVEST Award for exemplary investments in NRW.


As a one-stop agency, NRW.INVEST offers tailor-made support for your investment project. You will find your contact person either at one of our 16 offices abroad or at our headquarters in Düsseldorf. Ready, steady, grow in NRW!


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

+49 (0) 211 13000-0




Get in touch!