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Information about North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is Germany's true center of gravity. It is the largest Federal State of Germany in terms of population (more than 18 million inhabitants) and economic output (22 percent of Germany's  GDP). The state is situated in western Germany and has two neighboring countries, Belgium and the Netherlanders as well as three neighboring federal states.

Though fourth in terms of area, it has Germany's strongest economic output and largest population. Draw a 500-km radius around Düsseldorf, NRW's capital, and you will encircle almost 150 million people, representing almost one third of all consumers and 45 percent of purchasing power in the EU. As such, NRW has become a hub for business, with a very large concentration of foreign companies basing their German or European operations here, and attracting the most foreign investment of all German states.

The state offers excellent infrastructure, from international airports to a high-speed rail network on which you can pass from coal-mining and steel-production areas to others dense with bio-chemical and high-tech companies, from Europe's largest inland port in Duisburg to extensive agricultural areas.

The region also boasts the EU's highest density of educational facilities, with dozens of universities, technology centers, and research facilities forming one of the world's most dynamic R&D landscapes. NRW is also the world's top trade fair location, with over 60 events attracting almost 6 million visitors annually. Cities such as Aachen, Cologne, and Düsseldorf combine historical interest with avant-garde cultural offerings, making NRW one of the world's most important cultural regions, too.

Business Related Sites in North Rhine-Westphalia

Foreign entrepreneurs will find many state level institutions that offer helpful support for business operations.

The State of North Rhine-Westfalia
The official website of the State of North Rhine-Westfalia is a first source of information on local matters.

Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
The aim of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWME) is to create optimal general conditions for business in the state and strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) as an innovative, forward-looking and attractive industrial location.

NRW Global Business
The mission of the state-owned economic development agency NRW.GLOBAL BUSINESS is to market North Rhine-Westphalia as an investment location and to acquire foreign direct investments for North Rhine-Westphalia. Foreign and German companies are supported in their investment projects and/or their settlement in North Rhine-Westphalia - support which they receive throughout the entire process of establishing their business.

Commercial Sites in North Rhine-Westfalia
Germansite helps entrepreneurs to search for suitable commercial sites, provides important, detailed information on every  commercial site, and puts them in touch with the right contact person.

Startercenter NRW (German only)
Portal of the regional startup centers of the federal state of North Rhine-Westfalia which offer advice and support for young entrepreneurs.

NRW Bank
The mission of the State Development Bank of North Rhine-Westfalia is to strengthen economic and structural development in the federal state. For business start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs )in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.BANK makes effective use of public promotion and equity finance products and customises them to specific needs.

Tourismus NRW e.V.
Online travel guide of the Tourismus NRW e.V.

Point of Single Contact in North Rhine-Westphalia

Picture shows Points of Single Contact

Picture shows Points of Single Contact

Service businesses from EU Member States seeking for support with the German administrative procedures may address the local Points of Single Contact. These state run one-stop-shops will guide them through the necessary paper work.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia holds primarily the responsibility for the implementation of the EU Services Directive at the state level. In North-Rhine Westphalia, there are several Points of Single Contact (PSC) available to service providers and recipients. The internet portal of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on the EU Services Directive provides a "PSC-finder" as an easy way to find and get in touch with the Point of Single Contact in the state.

The service of the Points of Single Contact is optional. Entrepreneurs may always contact the relevant authorities directly, if they prefer. Moreover, there are many institutions at the state level that may be addressed for further support.