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More satisfied than ever: Foreign companies give North Rhine-Westphalia good reviews as a business location

Düsseldorf, 9 February 2015 - Foreign firms are highly satisfied with North Rhine-Westphalia. This is documented by a survey conducted by Ernst & Young on behalf of the state economic development agency NRW.INVEST in December 2014 with approx. 800 foreign companies in North Rhine-Westphalia:

  • 94 percent of the companies are at least satisfied with NRW as a business location. 45 percent are even very satisfied; this is an increase of 9 percentage points compared to the prior year.
  • 94 percent rate their business situation as good or satisfactory.
  • 93 percent of the companies expect their business to run just as well or better than in 2014.
  • Once again, one third of the foreign companies in NRW plan to hire new staff this year.
  • 27 percent of the companies plan to increase their investment this year, with two thirds intending to retain the same level of investment.

"The results show how much foreign companies are engines of development for our state. It is therefore all the more important to further enhance the attractiveness of NRW and to support the firms based in the state," said Economics Minister Garrelt Duin.

In addition to satisfaction with the location, the foreign companies were also asked about the current crisis in the Ukraine and the future topic "Industry 4.0". Around ten percent of the firms are significantly affected by the sanctions against Russia. They are working to open up new markets. Nearly 40 percent of the companies are planning to invest in the future area "Industry 4.0", the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. Half of the foreign companies would like to receive support with regard to Industry 4.0, above all in the form of information and advisory services. Fortunately, all the companies are satisfied with the general conditions for digital transformation and see no need for action here. "We are responsive to the wishes of the companies. Our goal is that the companies can develop their full innovative strength at the location," emphasized the CEOs of NRW.INVEST, Petra Wassner and Dr. Herbert Jakoby.

North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's No. 1 investment location. More than 15,000 foreign companies control their German or European operations from here. Foreign companies based in the state employ more than 750,000 people in total.

Note: A fact sheet on the survey "Investment location NRW as assessed by international companies" is provided here: