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Düsseldorf and NRW focus on Japan for digitization

Tokyo, 13 September 2017 – The state capital Düsseldorf and NRW.INVEST, the economic development agency of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), today hosted a special investment seminar at the Roppongi Academy Hills in Tokyo: "Innovation Partnership in the Digital Economy – Growth Opportunities in Düsseldorf and NRW". More than 150 representatives of renowned Japanese companies from the digital industry took up the invitation to find out more about the digital location and investment opportunities in Germany's largest federal state and its capital.

Representatives of international and Japanese investors from Düsseldorf, such as Wacom, Vodafone and Cumulocity together with NTT Communications, reported on their cooperation projects and experiences in NRW. Düsseldorf's Mayor Thomas Geisel emphasized: "As a top location for the mobile and communications industry, Düsseldorf occupies an exceptional position in Europe with regard to key technologies of digital transformation. Düsseldorf and the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia are the ideal location to initiate partnership projects in the field of research and development, in cooperation with industrial customers or with developers of digital communication platforms or applications."

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's industrial heartland, has developed into an innovation hub over the last two decades. With its high density of industrial and commercial enterprises, North Rhine-Westphalia offers countless customers and cooperation partners for digital technologies. "Cooperations are indispensable for opening up new fields of business and advancing technological innovations. NRW is very well positioned to implement German-Japanese joint projects," says Dr. Herbert Jakoby, Head of the Foreign Trade Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Another advantage of the location is the strong ICT sector in NRW and Düsseldorf. The interfaces between strong industrial structures and the large number of innovative ICT companies in particular offer the prerequisites for the digitalization of services, production and logistics. Düsseldorf is home to a unique cluster of mobile communications companies, innovative startups and state-of-the-art industrial production. Digital transformation is already a reality here.

For the expansion of the Japanese digital economy in Europe, NRW and Düsseldorf in particular offer an ideal location for research and development, production and sales. "The Japanese economy is already strongly represented in NRW and especially in Düsseldorf," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "Anyone wishing to invest in digital transformation benefits from a lively startup scene and a large pool of talent in NRW."

Japanese in NRW

More than 13,752 Japanese people live in North Rhine-Westphalia, including 7,038 in Düsseldorf. With over 600 Japanese companies, North Rhine-Westphalia is the preferred investment location for Japanese companies in Europe. In Düsseldorf alone, 384 Japanese companies have their headquarters. Well-known companies such as Asahi Kasai, Canon, Cyberdyne Care Robotics, Denso Automotive, Fujifilm, Hitachi, Komatsu, Makita, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Nippon Express, Nippon Express, Shiseido, Takasago, Toshiba, Toyota, Wacom, Yakult and Yamaha have already invested in North Rhine-Westphalia and/or Düsseldorf.