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Industry mix, infrastructure, and geographic location make the most populous German federal state the most popular region in Germany for foreign investors.

Germany – Europe’s leading economic nation – remains one of the most important markets for sales and investment. Around 82 million consumers live here, with a combined disposable income of 1,1,554 billion euros. Germany accounts for 20 percent of Europe’s total economic output – more than any other European nation. Such a market environment offers most suitable investment opportunities for business development. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) provides an excellent platform for unlocking this potential.

With around 18 million people, the most densely populated German state contains two of Europe’s largest metropolitan regions: one of these is the Ruhr Region, in which 5.2 million people live. The region between Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg, once dominated by the coal and steel industries, today, is home to numerous highly capable companies from the service and high-tech sectors. Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf form a metropolitan area in the Rhineland which has a population of 3.5 million. Manufacturers from the automotive and chemical industries in particular are domiciled here, as well as major service providers in the logistics, advertising, media, and consulting sectors. NRW is a high-tech location of world renown and is known for having one of the densest research landscapes in the whole of Europe.

Besides its economic diversity and central proximity to the neighboring countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, NRW also offers best access to the highly interesting sales market for consumer products of the EU. Almost 150 million people live within about a 500-kilomenter radius of the state capital, Düsseldorf. This represents 1/3 of all consumers and 45 % of the purchasing power in the EU. The inhabitants of NRW alone spend 322 billion euros on private consumption every year. NRW paints an impressive picture – also when compared to other European regions.

The economic structure of NRW is characterized by a balanced mixture of traditional industries, innovative economic sectors and services. The economy is particularly strong in certain areas: in the chemical industry, metal production and processing, the manufacture of metal products, the rubber and plastics industry, mechanical engineering, logistics, energy supply, the ITC industry and the health care industry. In terms of their economic strength, their degree of specialization, and their employment development, these segments are above average when compared on both a European and German scale. This is the reason why NRW is a location of particular importance, when planning to develop business in Europe and Germany.


NRW.INVEST GmbH serves as the central contact point for investments in North Rhine-Westphalia. It provides potential investors from Germany and abroad with a one-stop service ranging from locational information and business premises searches to arranging and guidance through negotiations and approval procedures. In addition to subsidiaries in Japan and the USA, NRW.INVEST operates foreign branch offices in China, India, Korea, and Turkey. In China, NRW.INVEST is represented with three branch offices in Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai.

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