Ludger Stüve – Regional location marketing in the competition among the metropolitan regions

Frankfurt’s skyline can be seen from far away. It is the symbol of the most important financial and commercial centre in Germany – and besides Lon­­don even in Europe. In addition to banks and insurance companies, other globally active companies from a wide range of sectors are located in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main area, so that the region’s economic power relies on a variety of sound and forward-looking mainstays.

Frankfurt/Rhine-Main is Europe’s geographic centre as well as the midpoint of the European development axis. With a population of around 5.52 million, a workforce that amounts to about 2.87 million and a gross domestic product of around 205 billion euros, it is one of the most important German metropolitan regions among the eleven officially rec­­ognised. The Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metro­politan region stretches from the district of Gießen in the north to the Berg­­straße district in the south, and from the Mainz-Bingen district in the west to the Aschaffenburg district in the east. The region comprises parts of three federal states, seven independent cities and 18 districts, as well as 468 cities and municipalities.

stüve-KopieThe author was born in 1959 and studied Social Sciences and History. After working for BfG Bank AG and Com­merz­bank, he was elected mayor of the mu­­nicipality Schöneck in 2001. Ludger Stüve has been the director of the Re­­gional Authority Frankfurt/Rhein-Main since 2012 as well as managing director of the Busi­­ness Development Agen­cy for the Frank­furt RhineMain region.

Life in the prosperous Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region is shaped by a globally net­­­­worked economy. The European Cen­­tral Bank operates from here, as does the German Central Bank and three of five European supervisory bodies in the ar­­eas of finance and commerce. The stock exchange is one of the world’s larg­­est trading centres for securities. Glob­­ally acting German private banks are head­­quartered here, and most of the inter­­national banks are at least re­­present­­ed with a representative office. As the world’s third largest trade fair ven­­ue, Frankfurt/Rhine-Main is also home to many trade associations and organisations and ac­­commodates the most head­­quarters of foreign companies in Ger­many, in addition to many major German companies that frequently op­­erate on a global scale.

The region is also known as a renowned traditional location of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The region’s im­­portance as a logistics centre in the heart of Germany and Europe has his­tor­ically grown with the international air­­port, being both the central starting point for international meetings and the largest employer in the region. Frank­furt also looks back on a long tra­dition as a media and creative location. Many publishing houses and advertising agencies, media companies and film produ­cers have made the jump into the digital age and are now part of the fu­­ture-ori­entated industries that have gen­­er­­at­­ed many new jobs in the entertainment industry as well as in information and communication technology.

Other important sectors in the region are the automotive industry, automation, ma­­terials and healthcare. The region’s special industry structure and its close­­ly-knit network of companies also create an attractive location for numerous con­­sulting companies. As Europe’s most im­­portant network node, Frankfurt/Rhine-Main holds a key position in the national and Europe-wide IT infrastructure.

To maintain this excellent starting position and to even build on it, the Busi­ness Development Agency for the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region “Wirtschaftsför­der­ung Region Frankfurt/Rhine-Main” con­­tributes to strengthening economic de­­velop­ment in the FrankfurtRhineMain metropolitan region. The agency with its nearly 200 member municipalities and districts operates across the federal states and is currently the only in­­stitution in the region which is able to give an approximate representation of the metropolitan region. With its catalogues and its presence at the EXPO REAL trade fair, it fosters the flow of in­­formation as well as the contact be­­tween industry profes­sionals and the real estate sector, in­­vestors and mu­­nicipalities. Shining a light on investment opportunities in the region is one of its main priorities.

Its logistics area catalogue is published every two years and provides an excellent overview of the areas and halls avail­­able for the logistics sector in the region. Even today, the demand for logistics real estate is still strong and thanks to its excellent transport connections, the region ranks among the top locations in Europe.

The production facilities catalogue is also published every two years and gives an overview of the production sector in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region. The main focus of production is placed on manufacturing, in particular in the four areas “IT equipment, electrical engineering, pre­­cision engineering and optics”, “chemistry and pharmaceutics”, “mechanical engineering” as well as “automotive en­­gineering”. The region is considered one of the leading locations for implementing ideas from engineering sciences into marketable products and processes.


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Since 2004, the regional business de­­velopment agency has been organising a joint stand at the annual EXPO REAL in Munich, one of Europe’s largest specialised fairs for commercial properties. Combined under the umbrella of the busi­­ness devel­­opment agency, the region’s municipalities and companies are given the opportunity to present and introduce themselves to an international audience of industry pro­­fessionals. The business development agency takes over the entire organisation for the stand partners. A few years ago, a joint stand and therefore also a joint representation of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main met­­ropolitan region was successfully es­­tablished.

To find houses, flats, construction sites and commercial premises in the region and its greater area, the real estate portal www.kip-frankfurt­rheinmain.de of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan re­­gion offers many options. The por­­tal pro­­vides the option to search for local of­­fers, offers from private individuals as well as for properties from commercial providers. And of course it is also possible to post your own real es­­tate offers.

The business development agency for the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region also co­­ordinates and strengthens cooperation between its members in this regard. It is essential to establish a positive profile of the region to ensure its growth and pros­perity, to maintain its attractiveness as a business location and to remain ahead in the international competition of the met­ropolitan regions. The so-called competence networks play an important role in preserving competitiveness. They primarily form localised cooperation groups with great international appeal and in­­clude several stages of the value chain of various sectors and disciplines, showing an enormous potential in this area.


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A variety of companies, suppliers, univer­sities, institutions and municipalities from the region participate in these suc­­cessful cooperation groups, which serve as a communication platform for science and economy, as well as for cities and mu­­nicipalities. Potentials are jointly strength­ened through close cooperation, resulting in unique characteristics in the national and international competition of the met­­ropolitan regions. This provides an op­­por­tunity for the members of the various net­works to find suitable cooperation and performance partners more easily and to be perceived by potential customers more effortless­ly. Simultaneously, the networks are in­­tended to contribute to making the con­ditions in the region so attractive that it remains a magnet for highly qualified workers and students.

As you can see, the regional location marketing of our business development works perfectly – maintaining the competitiveness of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan region.