Dr. Rainer H. Waldschmidt & Folke Mühlhölzer – Hessen and the Metropolitan Region – International, innovative and economically strong

From all over the world – to all over the world. The state of Hessen is one of Europe’s economically strongest, most internationally oriented and most at­­trac­­tive locations. Of particular commer­­cial and logistics significance is the Frankfurt-­­RheinMain metropolitan re­­gion. Together with over 400 cities and towns, including the main centres of Frankfurt, Offen­­­bach, Wiesbaden, Darm­­stadt, Hanau and Aschaffenburg, its 5.5 million people and 320,000 companies make up a region that is un­­equalled anywhere else.

With 300 air destinations in 110 countries and over 482,000 take-offs and landings every year, Frankfurt Airport is a leading international inter-modal transport hub with optimal connections to the entire world. It is a hub for more than 110 airlines with some 2.1 million tonnes of freight and 57.7 million passengers every year. Directly adjacent to the airport is the most important intersection of trans-European north-south and east-west transport links – the Frank­­furt motorway junction, Germany’s most frequented section of motorway. Thus, the region offers ideal conditions for international business relations: from all over the world – to all over the world.


Dr. Rainer H. Waldschmidt: Der Autor, Naturwissenschaftler und Be­­triebswirt (MBA), arbeitete nach inter­na­tionalen Stationen in Forschungund In­­dus­trie seit 2002 im Hessischen Mi­­nisterium für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Landesentwicklung. Im Juli 2011 wurde er Geschäftsführer der landeseigenen Wirtschaftsentwicklungsgesell­­schaft HA Hessen Agentur GmbH. Seit Oktober 2012 leitet er auch deren Tochter­gesell­schaft Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH.


A central finance centre in Europe. As the traffic flows in Hessen intersect, so too do the capital flows. In the capital city of the euro, some 230 banks from more than 40 countries conduct their global business. This is the home of the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Euro­­pean Central Bank. The German Stock Exchange makes the service centre that is Frankfurt one of the world’s major stock exchange centres. An excellent international infrastructure, world-famous trade fairs and one of the world’s largest securities exchanges show that Hessen is an attractive hub for companies from all over the world.

Die deutsche Börse ist einer der bedeutendsten Börsenplätze der Welt.

Die deutsche Börse ist einer der bedeutendsten Börsenplätze der Welt.

Hessen unites nations. Visiting Hessen and settling down here is a little like coming home. 750,000 foreign residents from over 180 nations make this state a commercial, social and cultural centre of diversity, social interaction and co­­operation. In Hessen, international orientation is practised every day. This is particularly evident at events such as the New­­comers’ Festival, which is aimed at both new arrivals and local international em­­ployers and communities and offers them sup­­port in finding their feet here quickly. Large European, North and South Ameri­­can and Asian commu­­nities enrich every­­day life economically and culturally. In Hessen, there are a large number of international primary and higher schools and institutes of tertiary education from which to choose. Hessen’s international character can be seen not only in the companies from all over the world and their em­­ploy­­ees and families, but also in the large number of business guests. Com­­­­­pared with other states in Germany, Hes­­sen records over five million overnight stays by guests from overseas every year – an above-average trend that is increasing.



Folke Mühlhölzer: Der Autor arbeitete nach dem Jura-Stu­­dium zunächst als Anwalt, später als Richter im Justizdienst Hessen. Nach leitenden Positionen im Hessischen Kultusministerium sowie der Staats­­kanzlei ist er seit 2013 Vorsitzender Geschäftsführer der HA Hessen Agen­­tur GmbH und Sonderbeauftragter des Hessischen Ministerpräsidenten für den Finanzplatz Hessen.

Hessen as a business location – always one step ahead. Due to its commercial vitality, Hessen has achieved a perman­ent top position. For over 25 years, no regional state in Germany has earned such a high GDP per person engaged in paid employment. In 2012 this figure was about 71,200 euros – about 12 per cent over the average for Germany. Apart from its services sector, which is known for its high level of performance, Hessen’s economic strength is based especially on its traditionally strong core industries. Whether the chemicals or pharmaceut­­icals industry, automobile manufacturing or electrical or mechanical engineering, research, development, manufacturing and marketing are conducted in numerous industries in Hessen. All these indus­­tries in Hessen have extremely high inno­­vation potential, which is due not least to its many top-class institutions, univer­­sities and universities of applied sciences.

International automobile centre in the Rhine-Main region.  As a location of the major automobile manufacturers Opel, VW and Mercedes, Hessen is also attractive for foreign automobile manufacturers and therefore, many of the German headquar­­ters of internationally successful automobile manufacturers are based in the region. In addition, large numbers of Asian automobile manufacturers have their Euro­­pean head offices in the Rhine-Main re­­gion and maintain sales and logis­­tics or research and development centres here. For example, Hyundai has been di­­recting its activities on the European market from Offenbach since 2006 and its European Technology Centre is also based in Hessen. Some 300 employees work on car design and diesel motors in Rüsselsheim.


@Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Deutschland

@Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Deutschland

Traditionally strong in chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Hessen is one of the most important locations for the manu­­facturing chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries worldwide. Statistics demon­­strate the diversity and performance of this industry. With just under 59,000 employees, it is one of the biggest indus­­trial employers in Hessen and it earned sales worth 25.5 billion euros in 2012, with a 69 per cent export quota. The chem­­­icals industry spends by far the most money on research and development with two billion euros. Bio­tech­nol­­ogy is distin­­guished by its great innovative strength.

Electrical and mechanical engineering – quality from Hessen. Quality products “Made in Hessen” also have a long tradi­­tion. In the optical equipment sector in particular, Hessen has been one of the top suppliers of high-end electrical appa­­ratus for over 25 years. This high level of sales is earned with precision instruments in the fields of process measurement, control, and regulating technology, optics and the manufacture of watches and products from the fields of medical tech­­nology. With just under 44,000 employees, mechanical engineering is one of the largest industrial employers in Hessen. Overall, almost 400 mechanical engineer­­­ing companies and their high-quality prod­­­ucts and developments help Hessen to position itself permanently as a highly innovative location with high growth po­­tential. These include globally active com­­panies such as ABB, Robert Bosch, KION and Siemens.

Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH – the economic developers. On the subjects of innovation and international orientation, Hessen’s economy can rely entirely on Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH (HTAI). The teams of experts from Hessen’s business development company in the fields of overseas trade, European consulting, technology and location market­­ing help local and international  investors at all times when looking for a suitable location, entering international growth markets or further developing their com­­pany in Hessen. This offer is aimed in particular at small and medium-sized com­­­­­panies in Hessen. With its wide vari­­ety of activities, HTAI ensures lively inter­­action between industries, companies, tertiary education, political circles and society.