The Best of Germany

Germany has to be considered as one of the world’s premium destinations for FDI. This key global investment hot spot can point to government support, transport & IT infrastructure and access to a huge market with enormous spending power on its doorstep, as well as international markets through its excellent port and airport infrastructure. In addition, it has a rich reservoir of skilled labour, not to mention an enviable education system. Within this powerhouse nation of investment opportunity, Invest 2018 has identified the region most worthy of attention; namely, Hamburg.

 

H amburg, sitting proud on the banks of the Elbe river in Northwestern Germany, has a strong trading tradition stretching right back to the origins of the Hanseatic League in the 13th Century.

Known around the world for its shipbuilding credentials and those of its related maritime industries, its strategically significant location has ensured it has long been one of the primary cogs driving world trade. Ever the innovator, Hamburg has now embraced smart port logistics around infrastructure, traffic and goods flows.

Hamburg can also point to a rich academic environment, as evidenced by the likes of the University of Hamburg, HafenCity, HAW Hamburg and the Technical University. Meanwhile, its credentials on the technology front are second to none. For example, the XFEL science project has seen various research institutes and scientists relocate to Hamburg, while the region’s pre-eminence around research and innovation is epitomised by DESY, which acts as a perfect example of an interface between industry, business and academia, in its capacity as a national research centre that operates particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter.

 

Hamburg has long been one of the primary cogs driving world trade.

 

Hamburg is further renowned for its research on nano-structures and the applications for medicine and biology, as well as Hamburg’s Laser Zentrum Nord (LZN), which develops individual and innovative solutions for its customers and acts as a catalyst for knowledge and technology transfer from research into industrial practice. It is known in particular, for its work with Airbus, which has garnered international attention, given the major implications this has for the transfer of 3D printing to industrial production. Other noteworthy aspects of Hamburg for the astute investor include CFK Valley Stade and its work with carbon fibres and composites, as well as the knowledge hub that is the ZAL TechCenter.

The city is keenly competitive, with office rents comparing favourably with other European hubs, such that it is well placed to benefit from Brexit in terms of the relocation or establishment of European headquarters for US or Asian companies, so leveraging Hamburg’s credentials in this space.

That which further distinguishes Hamburg from other regions is its cluster policy around not just the maritime industry, but also aviation, automotive, bio-tech, healthcare, life sciences, logistics, media, IT and renewables. Meanwhile, further north, the Fehmarn Belt tunnel stands to enhance access to and from Scandinavian markets.

 

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