North Rhine-Westphalia – Best Location For Business

North Rhine-Westphalia is located in western Germany covering an area of 34,084 square kilometers (13,160 sq mi). It is the most densely populated German state apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg, and the fourth-largest by area. North Rhine-Westphalia features four of Germany’s 10 largest cities: Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, and Essen, and the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, the largest in Germany and the third-largest on the European continent

Best Reasons for Your Business Location –

  1. Dynamic Business Location in the Center Of Europe –

  • NRW is the most populous state in Germany. With its 17.9 million inhabitants, there are more people living here. At 705 billion euros, NRW generates 20.8 percent of the German GDP. This puts the state clearly ahead of all the other federal states.
  • From no other location in Europe is it possible to reach so many people with such high purchasing power within such short distances as from NRW: More than 160 million people with a purchasing power of 3,587,277 million euros live within a radius of 500 km around the state capital Düsseldorf.

2. Industrial Heartland of Germany –

  • NRW is the strongest industrial region in Europe and is home to large industrial corporations of world standing as well as dozens of smaller companies which are leaders in their respective business fields.
  • In 2018, the industrial enterprises based in NRW generated sales of nearly 358 billion euros – which is 18.4 percent of industrial sales in Germany. 19.7 percent of the employed population of NRW work in the industrial sector.

3. Home Of The World Market Leaders –

  • One out of four German world market leaders comes from NRW. These champions and “hidden champions” come from all economic sectors. And that is not surprising if you look at the corporate landscape in North Rhine-Westphalia: 20 of the 50 highest grossing German companies are based in NRW.
  • These include such renowned global players as Bayer, Bertelsmann, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Henkel and Thyssenkrupp. In addition, 12 of the 40 largest retail companies such as Aldi, Metro and Rewe are based in NRW. But above all, around 712,100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the economic backbone of the state.


4. Germany’s No. 1 Investment Location –

  • Around 20,000 foreign companies have already invested in NRW and control their German or European activities from here. These include global concerns such as 3M, BP, Ericsson, Ford, Huawei, QVC, UPS, Toyota and Vodafone.
  • They make NRW the No. 1 investment location in Germany, as more investment flows to NRW from abroad than to any other German federal state: NRW accounts for 26.1 percent of all foreign direct investments (FDI) in Germany. Foreign companies have thus become an important employer in the state, providing jobs for about one million people

5. Europe’s Gateway with An Excellent Transport Infrastructure –

  • NRW stands for mobility in all dimensions. This is ensured by six airports offering a total of almost 450 direct international flights to the cities of the world. NRW has the densest rail network in Germany with about 6,000 kilometers of tracks. More than 2,200 kilometers of freeways and 17,600 kilometers of federal and provincial roads ensure that almost all of the state’s locations have optimal links to the European interstate road network.
  • The state also has a lot to offer on the water: Around 720 kilometers of waterways with 120 ports, including the world’s largest inland port in Duisburg with nearly 128 million tonnes of freight handled annually. In almost no other region of Europe will companies find better conditions for transport and logistics.

6. World Class in Research and Development –

  • Whether at the elite universities RWTH Aachen and Cologne, Forschungszentrum Jülich, the German Aerospace Center, nine institutes of the Leibniz Association, 14 Fraunhofer and 12 Max Planck Institutes as well as 56 collaborative research centers at universities – every day, many thousands of scientists and developers advance the know-how in their fields a little more.
  • The close cooperation between industry and research is an important prerequisite for the innovative strength of North Rhine-Westphalia. To support this knowledge transfer further the NRW Ministry of Science provides a database for companies seeking contact with research institutes.
  • This creates ideal conditions for innovation and technology transfer in the densest research network in Europe.

7. One of Europe’s Best Breeding Grounds for Talent –

  • North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of highly qualified workers and academics. This is ensured by the 70 universities and universities of applied sciences where more than 772,000 students are learning for a successful future career. More than one in four academics in Germany is trained in NRW.
  • This makes NRW Germany’s No. 1 breeding ground for talent. In 2017 alone, 112,000 students completed their education at North Rhine-Westphalian universities. A talent pool from which companies from both Germany and abroad profit. The state’s highly developed businesses also produce excellently trained specialists.
  • School education in North Rhine-Westphalian is shaped by this cultural diversity: Among the more than 6,200 education institutions in the state, there are seven international and 12 foreign schools. These not only lay the foundation for an internationally oriented school career, but also represent an important location advantage for the families of foreign nationals working in companies here.

8. Future-Oriented Digital Location –

  • The North Rhine-Westphalian economy is taking major steps towards digitization along the entire value-added chain. With its high density of industrial and commercial enterprises, as well as more than 712,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, the location offers countless customers and cooperation partners for digital technologies.
  • Every fifth German startup now comes from NRW. This is not surprising as the state offers an exciting market with nearly 18 million inhabitants, More than 712,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and a large number of global players from trade and industry. A strong ICT industry, an outstanding talent pool, 70 universities and top researchers in all major areas of digital change offer an excellent environment for companies in the digital economy to develop in NRW.

9. The highest quality of life in NRW –

  • NRW offers plenty of room for variety and excitement outside of the state’s vibrant economic life. This is why NRW is one of the most popular destinations in Germany with more than 22 million guests per year.
  • Attractions for visitors from all over the world include the event and shopping facilities in Düsseldorf, Cologne and the Ruhr Metropolis. The cultural offerings are also first-rate: More than 900 museums and 130 theaters make the state one of the most diverse cultural regions in Europe, on a par with Paris and London.


To sum up – A dynamic business location with convincing location factors, situated in the heart of Europe – North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) offers all this and more. With its location factors, NRW is the most important economic region in Germany and has for years been one of the most popular investment locations for foreign companies in Europe.

To know more about the region Reach us on  NRW Invest – The state-owned economic development agency of NRW who act as your partners for investment projects with a future.