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Düsseldorf is NRW’s driving force for foreign direct investments

Thirty-seven percent of all foreign direct investment in North Rhine-Westphalia in the period 2013 to 2017 was attributable to Düsseldorf. Cologne was in second place with 9.6 percent and Duisburg came third with 3.2 percent.

These figures were published by fDi-Markets, a magazine specialising in foreign direct investment which is part of the Financial Times Group. The magazine reported that a total of 332 investment projects were attributable to Düsseldorf for the period 2013-2017 which represents a share of 37%. Cologne, ranked second in NRW, had a share of 9.6% with 88 projects and Duisburg a share of 3.2% with 29 projects.

The long-term trend points upwards. Between 2003 and 2012, there were 33 cases a year on average and for 2013 to 2017, the online database of fDi markets reported 66 investments attributable to Düsseldorf.

Internationale Gruppe von Menschen

International Business Services

One in every seven companies in Düsseldorf has a foreign origin. So Düsseldorf is the most important location for direct foreign investment in North Rhine-Westphalia and one of the leading international locations in Germany. The Office of Economic Development is the central point of contact for international companies. It provides comprehensive and tailored advice and support not only on settlement and company formation and during the adjustment phase in Düsseldorf but also for every other development phase and business situation. Information is offered in 10 languages.
We provide consulting services in English, French, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

Get in touch with us in good time!

You have a tangible project and would like to set up a business with it in Düsseldorf?

We'll advise you during the implementation of your project:

  • We'll give you an overview of the process of setting up a business.
  • We'll support you during the entire set-up process.
  • We'll explain to you how to apply for a residence permit for your management activity in Düsseldorf.
  • We'll establish contacts to service providers, such as lawyers and tax consultants.
  • We'll support you in your search for suitable premises.

Our service and our advice are free of charge!


Setting up a business in Düsseldorf – Information for international investors


Düsseldorf and its surroundings have been the most important business location for Japanese companies in continental Europe for many decades now. The Office of Economic Development has set up a Japan Desk for the special needs of Japanese companies, their staff and the numerous Japanese institutions in Düsseldorf.

Chinesischer Mann mit Kind auf dem Chinafest

China Competence Center

As well as supporting the settlement of new Chinese companies and the maintenance of existing ones, the team deals with the continuous development of the city's now excellent Chinese infrastructure. The CKD website is a unique and free platform for all companies offering services to Chinese companies which helps to bring together the most important partners in the business location. The CKD is located at the Office of Economic Development.

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Expat Service Desk

The Expat Service Desk offers initial information and consultations concerning living and working within the city of Düsseldorf and the county of Mettmann for international professionals and managers with their families.

The Expat Service Desk team offers consultations and information about:

  • Foreign-law procedures like work and residency permit application
  • Professional qualification, training and career opportunities
  • Childcare, schooling and the school system
  • Associations, networks and institutions in international, business and cultural fields
  • Living in Germany: Formalities, authorities, health, housing, insurance, finance, leisure

Consultations are free of charge and take place in English, German and in other languages if require