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NRW.INVEST AWARD 2016: Minister Duin honors investors from the UK, Japan and the USA

Düsseldorf, 5 July 2016 - Economics Minister Garrelt Duin and the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST have honored three foreign companies for their outstanding investments in North Rhine-Westphalia. The NRW.INVEST AWARD 2016 was presented to the British online retailer AO in Elsdorf near Cologne, the Japanese company Mitsubishi Electric with its branch in Ratingen near Düsseldorf, and the US multi-technology group 3M, based in Neuss.

"North Rhine-Westphalia is regarded by foreign investors as the most attractive location in Europe. Every year we welcome new investors from all over the world. With the NRW.INVEST AWARD we pay tribute to their contribution to the corporate landscape of our state. They help to advance NRW with their know-how and to close gaps in the value chain, for example in digital transformation. We want to meet the challenges of digitization with our international partners and develop solutions together," said Minister Duin at the twelfth presentation of the NRW.INVEST AWARD.

"Our award winners take us around the globe: The USA, Japan and the United Kingdom have numbered consistently among the top 10 investor countries in NRW for years," explained Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. Last year, NRW once again impressed with a new record result as the leading location for international companies in Germany. The state recorded 434 new settlements and expansion investments by foreign companies – an increase of around 32 percent compared to the previous year. "Digital transformation is also the focus of our global acquisition activities. We want to convince foreign investors to collaborate on future trends such as industry 4.0 in NRW and to pursue investment opportunities," said Wassner.

The winners of the NRW.INVEST AWARD 2016:

AO: The UK's leading online retailer for household appliances AO is building its European headquarters in Bergheim. A new central warehouse and an administration building are being created on an area of 84,000 square meters. The company initially settled in Elsdorf near Cologne with storage facilities and its own delivery fleet in 2014. The move to the new European headquarters is scheduled to take place at the end of 2016. The Group already has over 500 employees in NRW and plans to create 2,500 jobs in the medium term.

Mitsubishi Electric: At the beginning of the year, Mitsubishi Electric, a global leader in the development and production of electrical and electronic equipment from Japan, opened its new German headquarters in Ratingen near Düsseldorf. On 16,000 square meters of office space Mitsubishi Electric unites all its divisions under one roof, from where it controls marketing and sales in Europe. In the future Mitsubishi Electric will employ up to 750 people at the headquarters. The company has already been based in NRW since 1978.

3M: The US multi-technology group 3M based in Neuss is investing 70 million euros in expanding its medical production facility in Kamen near Dortmund. This is the largest amount that the company has ever invested in Germany. In Kamen, around 350 employees provide solutions for the healthcare market. These include a special transparent dressing that 3M can produce completely at the site from the end of 2017 after the new, highly automated production facilities and storage capacities have been commissioned.

You can find pictures of the winners and the award ceremony from 11:00 a.m. on 5 July 2016 at https://www.nrwinvest.com/en/media-center/