Foreign Investment Remains on the Rise – 173 Companies Gain a Foothold in Hessen


The number of foreign companies establishing a permanent presence in Hessen rose yet again in 2017 with 173 international companies opening new locations or expanding current locations in the past year.

“Our location, infrastructure, and cosmopolitan atmosphere make Hessen a very desirable business venue,” commented Hessen’s Minister for Economic Affairs Tarek Al-Wazir. The figures were gathered by Hessen’s own business development agency Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH (HTAI) in cooperation with the regional and local business development agencies. Topping the list of countries from which companies established operations in Hessen in 2017 are the United States (44), China (23), Japan (19), India (13), the United Kingdom (12), the Netherlands (11), and France (9). The IT and software industry was the most heavily represented industry with 38 projects. The financial industry recorded a particularly strong rise to 31 cases, nearly doubling its prior-year figure.

Al-Wazir added that the United Kingdom’s plans to leave the EU have boosted interest in the Rhine-Main region as a business venue. “The foreign companies relocating to the region include five American, four Japanese, and two British banks. This demonstrates the importance of Frankfurt as an international financial center.” Al-Wazir traveled to London with a business delegation in order to gain a solid understanding of the current status of the Brexit negotiations and the potential impact it will have on Hessen. The main topics discussed were the financial sector and start-up support.

“We have been highly successful for many years in promoting Hessen as a business venue in competition with other venues,” explained HTAI’s CEO Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt. “More than 750 international companies have established operations or expanded their existing investments in Hessen over the past five years and it is Hessen’s pronounced innovative capacity that is often cited as a major perk.” HTAI works closely with regional business development agencies and Germany Trade & Invest GmbH to foster the establishment and expansion of operations in Hessen by foreign companies.


Examples (2017):

  • GSK Vaccines GmbH. The British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) expanded its vaccine production in Marburg. Ground was broken in March 2017 for the construction of a new meningococcal B vaccine production facility, for which GSK invested around €162 million.

  • Pfeifer Group. The Austrian-based Pfeifer Group expanded its location in Lauterbach in central Hessen. Around €30 million was invested in the construction on the location’s existing premises of a new plywood board facility with an annual production capacity of 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet).

  • Thriving Horizon Investment Europe GmbH. Thriving Horizon is a subsidiary of the China-based Beijing Automotive Group. Thriving Horizon Investment Europe GmbH set up operations in Frankfurt in 2017 with a focus on the areas of automotive and automotive supply, vehicles powered by renewable energies, and autonomous driving systems.

  • Daikin Applied Germany GmbH. Daikin Industries Ltd. is an Osaka-based worldwide leading producer of air conditioners that established a sales division in Frankfurt in May 2017.

  • HIOKI Europe GmbH. The Nagano-based Hioki E.E. Corporation, which manufactures electrical measuring instruments, established a sales office in Eschborn in June 2017.


Further information is available at