Katowice/Düsseldorf, 20 February 2015 – Led by Karola Geiß-Netthöfel, Regional Director of the Regional Association Ruhr (RVR), a business delegation visited Katowice, Poland's industrial heartland, from 19 to 20 February. The Ruhr Regional Association and the economic development agency of North Rhine-Westphalia NRW.INVEST, Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr (WMR) and the chambers of commerce and industry in the Ruhr area are campaigning jointly in Silesia for NRW and in particular for the Ruhr as an investment location. The purpose of the trip is to establish long-term cooperation in business and science between the Ruhr metropolis and the Polish metropolitan region of Upper Silesia, as well as to acquire investment partners. In addition, at the invitation of CTL Logistics, Poland's largest private railway company, the delegation visited the S?awków terminal and held talks on strengthening logistics connections between the Ruhr area and Eastern Europe and the increased involvement of the Polish company in NRW/Ruhr.
Together with the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Association the NRW delegation hosted the kick-off conference "Ruhr and Silesia Metropolises – the Innovation Alliance" on 19 February 2015 in Katowice. "Silesia and the Ruhr area are each the industrial hearts of their respective states. With its structural changes, the Ruhr metropolis has already come further. There are many opportunities for cooperation here. That is what our experience has shown," emphasizes Karola Geiss-Netthöfel of RVR. "For years, the Polish economy has been strengthening its innovative strength and competitiveness. We want to win Polish companies to participate in future trends in North Rhine-Westphalia," explained Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST.
In a panel discussion, German and Polish industry representatives debated on the topics resource efficiency and Industry 4.0. "The Ruhr metropolis is a strong partner in the field of energy generation and raw materials production and has for many years been a prime location for entrepreneurs in the fields of water management, environmental and recycling technology, as well as for laboratory, engineering and measurement services. The excellent university and research landscape ensures qualified future employees and technology transfer and provides ideal conditions for Polish companies," explained Rasmus C. Beck, chairman of the wmr board of management.
During the delegation trip, the business delegation also visited the subsidiary of the North Rhine-Westphalian company Dolezych, one of the largest providers of lifting and load securing technology in Europe. Dolezych has already had a branch in Katowice since 1992.
"The trip is an opportunity for companies from the Ruhr metropolis to showcase their skills, for example in the future-oriented market for resource efficiency, in order to establish or develop business contacts in Silesia," said Wulf-Christian Ehrich, spokesman for foreign trade of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in NRW.
The program was rounded off with a presentation by Borussia Dortmund (BVB 09) on the subject of sport as an important economic factor in the Ruhr metropolis. This was followed by the official opening of the BVB Football School in Katowice.
Poland is now one of North Rhine-Westphalia's top 10 trading partners. In 2013, foreign trade between the two states totaled EUR 15.4 billion. North Rhine-Westphalia is the No. 1 investment location for Polish companies. Around 200 Polish companies have already settled in Germany's economically strongest state. They include such well-known companies as Amica International, Brilum Licht, Econ Reifen, Fasing, FLT-Group, Raben Logistics, Sanplast Group, SECESPOL, and Tele Fonica Kable Central Europe.
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