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New record: Foreign direct investments create more than 10,000 new jobs in North Rhine-Westphalia for the first time

With a total of 426 new settlements and expansion projects in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2018, the upward trend in foreign direct investment (FDI) continues. With a share of 21 percent, the state is the most popular investment location for international companies nationwide. As a result, North Rhine-Westphalia has achieved a new record result in the number of jobs created: For the first time, foreign investments are expected to create more than 10,000 potential jobs. These are the figures reported by the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST.

"North Rhine-Westphalia's attractiveness for foreign investments increased once again. This comes as no surprise, as our state is one of the few mega-metropolitan regions in Europe to offer ideal conditions for successful growth. The many new jobs that are being created combine perfectly with the high international talent and specialist potential from which we benefit in North Rhine-Westphalia. We are determined to drive innovation forward and invite international companies to work with us to achieve top performance," explains Economics and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.

Facts and figures at a glance:

  • The Düsseldorf region was once again the leading location in NRW in 2018 with 42 percent of all investment projects, followed by the Ruhr Metropolis with 21 percent and the Cologne/Bonn region with 15 percent.
  • Almost a third of the potentially newly created jobs were generated in the Ruhr Metropolis. In second and third place come the Düsseldorf region and the Lower Rhine region, the latter increasing by 77 percent over the previous year.
  • With 72 investment projects (previous year: 96), Greater China continues to lead the field by far.
  • The USA is on an upward trend, rising sharply to 45 FDI cases after a slump in the previous year.
  • Turkey also reaffirms its position as an important investor country with 44 investment projects.
  • In addition, companies from Japan also invested more last year than before: with 33 projects, the number almost doubled compared to the previous year.
  • With around 2,450 planned jobs – a share of just under 25 percent – US companies remain the No. 1 job engine in NRW. Compared to the previous year, the USA expanded this leading position considerably. Investment projects from the United Kingdom in particular, which create more than 1,100 potential jobs in the state, contributed to the high job result for 2018.

"The expansion investments of foreign companies in particular, some of which have been located in NRW for many years, are creating high job potential this year. The location is therefore proving itself to be a guarantor for success and growth – especially for the logistics industry," says Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "The significant share of investment projects from the IT sector also underlines NRW's attractiveness in the areas of digitization and Industry 4.0."

In the IT sector, for example, the Estonian consulting firm Nortal, which specializes in e-government solutions, and the US company ServiceNow with its own cloud service data center, have settled in Düsseldorf. In the service sector, Regus, a Swiss provider of flexible office solutions, opened co-working spaces at seven locations in NRW. The Israeli startup Zeek Mobile, based in Düsseldorf, offers an online portal and app for the purchase and sale of unused gift cards. Digital transformation is also making itself felt in logistics: For example, the Israeli-Dutch start-up Quicargo, which uses a computer-controlled portal to broker empty spaces in trucks, set up shop in the Port of Duisburg.

By investing in two further NRW logistics centers in Mönchengladbach and Duisburg, the US online retailer Amazon is creating 1,100 new jobs. The French parcel service provider DPD is building one of its largest parcel sorting centers in Germany with 450 jobs in Hamm. Among the new additions is the British shoe manufacturer Clarks, which is building its first logistics center for Europe in Krefeld in order to better serve orders from online channels in Europe.

North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany's No. 1 investment location: More than 20,000 foreign companies employ over one million people in the state.