Prof. Dr. Joachim Hofmann-Göttig: Koblenz – Coblenz – An innovative location at Germanys Deutsches Eck

At the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine, the world-famous “Deutsches Eck”, lies one of the most beautiful and oldest cities in Germany: Coblenz. Our city is a hub of international tourism. In 2011, we were host to Germanys ­national garden show, a hundred-year event for Coblenz, with over 3.5 million visitors.

Here in our lovely city on Rhine and Moselle, life is pleasant. The university town is the region’s main commercial and cultural centre and an attractive place to live. The over 112,000 residents have an extensive array of leisure and cultural activities available to them, the impressive healthcare infrastructure offers excellent medical care and five hospitals. And the education sector in Coblenz is also of high quality: a vital tertiary education scene offers a university, a university of applied sciences and 13 all-day schools; more schools are planned. Coblenz is also the commercial centre of the northern Rhineland-Palatinate and a production location for internationally active companies. An environmentally friendly industrial sector and a wide range of suppliers and service providers form an ideal symbiosis for this city. Coblenz lives and works with a distinctive medium-sized company structure in conjunction with a diverse store of highly-trained employees from the surrounding region.

Coblenz’ economic power in the secondary sector is primarily a result of the diversity of commercial sectors and a healthy mix of small, medium-sized and large corpor­ations. This favourable scene is certainly one reason why Coblenz as a business location was less susceptible to structural crises in the past and why its unemployment rate was always lower than the national average. Besides the mainly medium-sized economy, Coblenz has a number of well-known large companies whose products have conquered international markets. World-famous name-brand paper towels for industry and the retail market, innovative braking systems and gas springs or high-tech aircraft components – they are all developed and made in Coblenz.

Well-trained and motivated skilled employees ensure excel­­lent-­­quality goods. As suppliers to the automotive and aerospace industries, companies in Coblenz deliver top performance and can point to international quality awards such as “Premium Supplier” or “Quality Award”. Today, companies in Coblenz’ industry park use top technology that opens up ideal sales opportunities and potential growth both in the EU’s single market and worldwide.  But services also have a tradition in Coblenz. This regional centre has been not only a favoured commercial centre for centuries, but as an administrative seat, the city is also an attractive location for service providers, with 1.1 million square metres of office space. In other words, it offers ideal conditions for commercial activities! Some 90 state and federal authorities, including the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and the Federal Institute of Hydrology, the Federal Archives, the Rhineland-Palatinate State Archives, the State Office for Mobility and the State Chemical Analysis Institute), together with numerous chambers of industry and commerce and industry associations are based here. Today, Coblenz is considered as a leading services location between the metropolitan regions of the Rhine-Ruhr and the Rhine-Main. Almost three quarters of all employees work in the tertiary sector. Coblenz offers an extraordinary store of very well-trained service employees for administrative and services positions in both the public and the private sectors. Besides the public administrative entities and the hotel-restaurant industry, commercial and company-oriented services should also be mentioned.

Coblenz is a prime example of a modern services location with a comprehensive range of services. Banks, insurance companies and other private-sector service providers, public authorities, justice and the military command and technology organisations have good conditions here. Well-known service providers offer their services from here. As a financial and legal services-oriented location with the highest density of tax consultants and lawyers in the whole of Rhineland-Palatinate, Coblenz has various courts and two public prosecutor’s offices in the central city. Besides 35 insurance companies, the same number of financial institutes and related companies are also based in Coblenz.

A high level of freelance competence has also developed in the private and public sectors. But over the last ten years, Coblenz has also developed into a preferred location for information technology and multi-media. Medium-sized companies in particular are active here and some of them are market leaders in their sectors. Today, over 8,000 employees work in the IT sector at the Coblenz IT location. And this number is increasing!

With the “Moselstausee Office Park” on federal highway B49 and the “Bubenheim/B9 Services Centre, Commercial and Technology Park”, Coblenz is currently developing further services locations. In addition, the University of Koblenz IT and Business Park offers an ideal infrastructure for IT-­re­­lated services. The city on the Rhine and Moselle is ideally equipped for the challenges of the information age. Looking for a software centre or a back office? Coblenz offers ideal conditions!

Coblenz’ central location at the intersection of the efficient north-south transport links and the historic east-west axis offers ideal links to road (federal highway A 61 and A 48), rail and air networks. The major airports of Frankfurt and Cologne are about 100 km away and Hahn Airport in the Hunsrück mountains can be reached in one hour. And then there is the city’s ideal location on the confluence of Rhine and Moselle, the two European waterways; Coblenz Rheinhafen port also offers 24-hour service. The city owns a cargo handling centre which benefits greatly from this ideal location between the major Rhine-Main and Rhine-Ruhr conurbations.

Coblenz is a good address for young entrepreneurs and start-ups. They are successful here because the industry and services location is so successful. This success lies in the variety of sectors and the healthy mix of small, medium-sized companies and large corporations. At the Coblenz Technology Centre as a centre for innovations, company start-ups and entrepreneurs receive the necessary assistance to develop competitive products or services from innovative ideas.

The city of Coblenz is a very vital and agile business location, quite apart from being a place worth living in. Come and discover it!

Prof. Dr. Joachim Hofmann-Göttig
Joachim Hofmann-Göttig completed a doctorate at the university of Marburg in 1981. He began his political career in 1977 as a research assistant in educational policy in the SPD Bundestag parliamentary party. He worked in the Rhineland-Palatinate State Ministry of Education and Culture from 1991 to 2010, before being elected Lord Mayor of the city of Coblenz in 2010.