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NRW.Global Business AWARD 2021: North Rhine-Westphalia honors outstanding international projects from Heek, Cologne, Saerbeck and Düsseldorf

©NRW.Global Business

©NRW.Global Business

The red carpet is rolled out for NRW's foreign trade: With the NRW.Global Business AWARD, the state honors significant investments by international companies in North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location and, this year for the first time, also a particularly successful international expansion strategy by an NRW-based company.

Economic Affairs and Digitization Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and Felix Neugart, CEO of the state-owned foreign trade promotion agency NRW.Global Business, will present the award today at the Ständehaus in Düsseldorf to the provider of combined heat and power plants 2G Energy from Heek in Münsterland, the Japanese automotive supplier Marelli, the manufacturer of hydrogen generators Enapter from Thailand and the Chinese technology group Xiaomi.

Minister Pinkwart: "Foreign trade is an anchor of stability for North Rhine-Westphalia. Both the export industry and foreign direct investment have developed well in the pandemic year 2020 and, with their dynamism, are setting an upward trend for the entire North Rhine-Westphalian economy. With the NRW.Global Business AWARD, we would like to pay special tribute to the commitment of our national and international companies to NRW as a business location, also in these challenging times."

"Our first AWARD, which we present as the new agency for the promotion of foreign trade, NRW.Global Business, not only combines incoming and outgoing business, but also places the focus on important future industries. Our award winners from areas such as renewable energies, new mobility or smart home enrich our location with their ideas and position it to be internationally competitive," says Felix Neugart.

The award winners at a glance:

2G Energy: The company from Heek in the Münsterland region manufactures combined heat and power units for decentralized energy supply by means of cogeneration. Founded in 2005, 2G Energy has been pursuing a sustainable international expansion strategy for many years – by establishing subsidiaries in particularly promising markets and by involving external licensing partners. Today, more than 6,500 cogeneration plants in over 50 countries carry the North Rhine-Westphalian 2G brand around the world. In the last five years, the company has almost doubled its sales in foreign business with nine subsidiaries and today employs more than 650 people around the globe.

Marelli: Since the end of 2020, the Japanese automotive supplier Marelli has established a new production facility for electric vehicle drives on the Ford factory premises in Cologne. On an area of 18,000 square meters, the company produces 800-volt electric motors for vehicle manufacturers in Germany. Space for future expansion has already been planned. In the first step, Marelli is creating 160 new jobs in Cologne. The group, which was formed in 2019 from the merger of the Japanese company Calsonic Kansei and the Italian company Magneti Marelli, is one of the ten largest independent automotive suppliers in the world.

Enapter: Enapter, the hydrogen technology specialist from Thailand, is building a mass production facility for highly efficient hydrogen generators based on anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology in Saerbeck, Germany. In the future, modular systems for the production of green hydrogen will be manufactured and refined at the "Enapter Campus". More than 100,000 electrolyzer units per year are to be produced there from 2022. The aim is to make green hydrogen economically competitive with fossil fuels worldwide and to supply it in the quantities required worldwide.

Xiaomi: Chinese technology giant Xiaomi launched its first German sales office in Düsseldorf in 2019. In the meantime, the company, which is one of the largest manufacturers of smartphones and smart home devices in the world, has moved into its new German headquarters at the site and opened its first Mi Store in the state capital. Since then, Xiaomi has risen to become Germany's third most important smartphone brand in just one year. Further growth in North Rhine-Westphalia is planned.