Düsseldorf – On Track
Düsseldorf, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a veritable magnet for FDI.
For many years it has attracted numerous global companies of renown looking for a gateway into Europe, and its popularity on this front shows no sign of abating, particularly in respect of companies from Japan, whose workers have had the option of a direct flight between the German city and Tokyo since 2014. Cumulatively, such is the allure of Düsseldorf for Japanese firms, some 7000 Japanese nationals now call the city home, as do 380 firms from the Far Eastern country.
While the city’s authorities responsible for attracting investment attach great importance to servicing this market’s needs, it is also meeting with great success in its efforts to appeal to business interests from other corners of the globe, be it the Americas, Russia, the Arab world, China or India, from whence many world-leading firms have recently determined to go with Düsseldorf as the site for their European HQs.
“One consequence of this is that the city and surrounds are consistently held in the highest esteem by companies across the world looking to relocate, expand or start up in ‘the old continent’.”
In this endeavour the city has a number of inherent advantages, not least the fact of its location, which affords ready access to a huge and prosperous market, amounting to almost a third of the EU’s entire population within a day’s drive, as well as excellent infrastructure and an international airport. Meanwhile, business partners are readily available, given the half a million companies based in the region, while it also generates a full half of EU purchasing power.
Düsseldorf has become a byword for all that’s best in a location in the hearts and minds of the international C-suite community, and been able to take advantage of corporate uncertainties surrounding Brexit to position itself as the pre-eminent alternative European hub to the UK for international firms.
Perhaps Düsseldorf’s greatest quality is the fact of it never resting on its laurels. Whether related to infrastructure, education, the labour pool, tax and other financial incentives, relocation services, premises, innovation, clusters, the value chain, R&D, the start-up ecosystem, the digital economy, the design, engineering or IT arenas, it is ever the pioneer.
One consequence of this is that the city and surrounds are consistently held in the highest esteem by companies across the world looking to relocate, expand or start up in ‘the old continent’. Furthermore, these companies are attracted in part by the high labour productivity that sees a GDP of over €90,000 per head of population engaged in gainful employment
In addition, the city is strongly pro-business, with the public and private sector uniting behind a common objective that aims to facilitate and nurture investment and entrepreneurship. With its beautiful setting on the banks of the Rhine, Düsseldorf also scores extremely highly on the quality of life front, being at one and the same time: safe, green, welcoming, easily navigated and rich in history, with a culture and events scene that puts much larger cities to shame.
Düsseldorf also remains fully responsive to the evolving needs of the corporate fraternity it plays host to, not least in developing sustainable economic clusters to create an environment that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Moreover, a focus on developing the digital economy has seen it attract numerous industrial tech companies, so ensuring a rich tapestry of industrial manufacturing and service industries, rather than a mono business culture.