Bremen in Demand Abroad – Foreign Direct Investment 2022

Around 8 million euros were invested by foreign companies in the federal state of Bremen in 2022. The northern German city scored particularly well in the technology sector, but also in the transport and logistics sector.

January 2023

Cosmopolitanism and a spirit of innovation, commercial talent and a high degree of flexibility – these are the characteristics of Bremen, Germany’s smallest federal state. World-renowned companies, but also top scientific institutes contribute to the competitiveness of the location.

Change and the ability to deal with change profitably have accompanied the commercial metropolis of Bremen for centuries. After pandemic travel restrictions made international expansion difficult in 2021, Bremen is now once again in demand abroad. International companies invested around 8 million euros last year and plan to create around 160 jobs in the coming months and years.

Bremen’s settlement activities met with particular interest in the four target markets of Turkey, China, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. The state maintains its own local offices in these countries to provide direct advice to interested companies. “Particularly pleasing is the continuing high level of interest from China despite the severe pandemic restrictions, which made travel almost impossible for a long time and only allowed international exchanges in recent weeks,” says Andreas Gerber, Team Leader Acquisition and Projects at bremeninvest, which is responsible for the marketing of Bremen as a location abroad and provides on-site support to companies. Six of the total of 40 companies newly settled by bremeninvest come from China.

© WFB/Studio B.

Logistics and technology from the Hanseatic City in demand

As an international port and logistics location, Bremen convinced 14 companies from China, the Netherlands, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Turkey with its logistics, warehousing, transport and packaging services in 2022. Bremen also enjoys an equally high status as a technology location. In the fields of medical technology, IT services, aerospace and vehicle technology, companies have come to Bremen to develop their own products in addition to sales activities.

Examples of international settlements from Bremen:

Werover GmbH

Werover, a robotics and artificial intelligence service provider active in the field of underwater vehicles and renewable energies, comes from Turkey. Bremen was the company’s first choice because it is located in the immediate vicinity of top research institutes such as the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence DFKI or marine science institutes such as MARUM or the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Eco Medical Deutschland GmbH

ECO Medical would like to establish a procedure to combat cancer, varicose veins or thyroid nodules that is rather unknown in Germany. The Chinese technology company develops devices for microwave ablation. This can be used to treat harmful tissue gently and precisely. After starting in Germany at the beginning of 2022, the company was able to recruit its first employees during the course of the year and is currently looking for more staff. This is because demand for the new form of therapy is high and doctors from the DACH region have a great need for further training.

CAE Flight School GmbH

The Canadian company CAE takes care of the training of young pilots at Bremen Airport. With the new location, the company is continuing a long tradition of training. Up to 44 prospective pilots undergo theory and practical courses here, primarily for the German Armed Forces. Five light aircraft round off the practical part. Bremen was the company’s preferred location, says CAE Vice President European Strategy, Niels Kröning.

Changed supply chains and new topics

With the realignment of supply chains and international trade relations – due to Brexit, for example – Bremen was once again increasingly in the spotlight as a trading location in 2022. Investments from the UK came from niche areas and after-sales services, such as maintenance, sales of cranes and in the area of wind energy and offshore services. From the USA there was activity in the expansion of European business such as business process outsourcing, IT services, distribution of software programs.

In addition, there is a high level of interest in Bremen’s technology focus topics such as hydrogen, additive manufacturing, AI, digitalization. “Leading trade fairs such as the Hydrogen Technology Expo and the International Astronautical Congress bring many interested parties to Bremen and ensure that the city appears on international maps. We want to build on this in the current year,” Gerber concludes.