District of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce









Business Location

>Region Cologne  |  Bergisches Land  |  Region Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler

The Cologne-Bonn Region is located in the heart of Europe and is therefore the national and international hub of industry, trade and commerce. Whether by road, rail or air, all the economically important centres of the Continent can be reached within one hour. Within one hour’s travel time this amounts to around 16 million people, and within three hours over as many as 60 million.

In addition to the cities of Cologne, Bonn, Leverkusen and Neuss, the region also includes surrounding districts. Over 3 million people live and work here, and with more than a million employees the Rhineland has the fourth largest employment rate of all the metropolitan regions in Germany. A total of over 150,000 companies have established themselves here, and in 2010 they have achieved a turnover of over 300 billion Euros. On average each inhabitant in the region has an income of approx. 21,000 Euros, which is above the average for Germany, which is put at 18,500 Euros. With over 420 educational, research and scientific institutions the Rhineland is also a leading scientific centre.The population of the cities and the districts of the Rheinland has a significantly greater purchasing power than the German national average and will grow, contrary to the European trend, by more than 10% by 2030. Approximately 120,000 students are enrolled at Cologne and Bonn universities and the 14 specialist colleges here. Many pupils also attend the international schools such as St. George‘s in Cologne or the École de Gaulle in Bonn. The region has one of the highest concentration levels of educational facilities in Germany and offers a highly qualified workforce.


Area (qkm) 3,839.1
Population 3,099,701
• Consume Trade
• Commerce
• Traffic
• Services
Companies 194,000
GDP (p.P.) 32,485
Income (p.P.) 20,849

Regional Profile





Cologne Motorways


Airport Cologne Bonn

Region Cologne

Cologne is the fourth-largest city in Germany and the largest in North Rhine-Westphalia. Over 1 million people live in the city, over 2 million in the Cologne economic region. Every leading industrial sector is represented here: in addition to the automotive industry, large international chemical and pharmaceutical firms are also prominent here, as well as the electrical and mechanical engineering industries and food production industries.
As a former Hanseatic city, Cologne can look back on a long tradition as a centre for trade. For decades it has been an established location for the insurance sector as well as a venue for trade fairs. More than 10,000 companies focussing information technology services are situated in the district of the Co­logne Chamber of Commerce. In recent years, growth in the media branches has been particularly dynamic: Cologne is Germany’s leading city for film, radio and television production. A high export ratio (more than 50%) and the attractive trade location make the region a magnet for entrepreneurs as well as investors. Differently from the comparable cities, Cologne shows positive demographic developments also in future.

Transportation Infrastructure

Cologne’s outstanding transport infrastructure sets it apart from every other German city. Cologne Bonn Airport - and Düsseldorf airport, only 55 km away - provide for worldwide connections. Over 200 destinations around the globe can be reached from these airports. Cologne’s main railway station, sporting a brilliant new look since 2000 follow­ing major renovations, is one of the most important railway junctions in Europe, with high-speed inter­national routes to London, Paris and Amsterdam. The 55 minutes high speed connection to Frankfurt via Cologne Bonn Airport has been completed in 2002.
The motorway ring that completely encircles the city is considered exemplary throughout Europe. Eight bridges span the Rhine river, and in Cologne’s six harbours, over 10 million tons of goods are currently transferred each year.

Rhein-Erft district & Rhein-Kreis Neuss

In the Rhein-Erft district close by - once dominated by opencast brown coal mining – numerous innovative and future-oriented industries have established themselves, for instance in the areas bio-engineering, environmental technology, IT and telecommunications. Within the »Cologne Chemical Industry Belt«, the district plays a central role thanks to the Knapsack Chemical Industry Park and the town of Wesseling. Today, more than 70 companies from the media sector can be found in Hürth – including more than 30 film and television studios, in which a large part of all German film and TV productions are made. The Rhein-Kreis Neuss is Germany’s largest fashion sales location. In addition, the district hosts global players from almost all lines of industry including Hydro Aluminium, L’Oreal, Mitutoyo, Toshiba or Yamaha. The administrative district generates the highest growth rate across North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Cologne economic region is at the cutting edge of many key technologies, both in North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond, including information, communications and media technologies, biotechnology as well as aerospace engineering and research, making start-ups here especially attractive. The Cologne Chamber of Commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammer – IHK) acts as contact partner for the entire region, supplemented by local trade and industry associations dealing with the individual communities.

Cologne Profile


The Rheinisch-Bergisch District




Bergisches Land

Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis: Eight Good Reasons

The Rheinisch-Bergisch District is one of the administrative districts in Germany with the highest purchasing power. Economic strength in connection with an idyllic countryside and the central location at the doorstep of Cologne create the basis for a high quality of life and living in this administrative district with its eight municipalities and around 280,000 inhabitants.
A strong retail trade, internationally operating large-scale enterprises and numerous service providers with close relations to local companies are characteristic of this administrative district. New, interesting industrial estates in close proximity of the motorway system provide investors with room for ideas. However, there are also existing premises and real properties waiting for reactivation. Recently, the idea of a development centre for renewable energies has been implemented here – an example of the close ties with research and development institutions. Companies of the metal processing industry, the mechanical engineering sector, the electrical engineering trade and top-quality medical services highly appreciate the closeness to suppliers and customers and to the metropolises Düsseldorf and Cologne as well as the good infrastructure and the direct access to Cologne/Bonn International Airport.
The highly qualified personnel, which companies are able to find here, especially appreciates the high quality of living. In addition, the recreational opportunities are outstanding. Traditional industries, young innovative companies and internationally operating family-managed businesses indicate the widely diversified economic structure of the Rheinisch-Bergisch District. Thanks to this broad spectrum, the district’s economy is well equipped for the challenges of future economic trends and cycles.

Business Location Rheinisch-Bergisch district


The Oberberg District





Oberbergischer Kreis: Room for success

To reconcile innovation and tradition is often as great a challenge for companies as for economic regions. The »Oberbergische Kreis« (Oberberg District) shows how an economic area can find »its« specific answer. In the Oberbergische Kreis, investors meet with a healthy and long-established corporate structure. Among the entirety of 16,000 companies are many small and medium-sized businesses, most of which are owner-operated. In some lines of industry, the products »made in Oberberg« are among the world‘s best. Be it wallpapers, plastics, rubber or metals – it is here that many experts and specialists for these materials and corresponding products concentrate – an important precondition for finding the right cooperation partners.
Companies in the Oberbergische Kreis benefit from their geographic location within the triangle of Cologne//Düsseldorf, the Ruhr Valley and the Rhine-Main Region. For suppliers and partners, this means short distances. Just as near are important markets and customers. The objective of the region is to create an even more innovative and business-friendly climate. In this context, the promotion of economic development within the Oberbergische Kreis pins its hopes on qualified young talents and their fresh impetus. An important component of the many-sided educational offer is the Gummersbach Campus of the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne. Its graduates, but also those of universities and technical colleges in the surrounding area highly appreciate jobs and employment in the Oberbergische Kreis – because of the many interesting employers on the one hand and due to the high quality of life and many »soft« location factors on the other.
The approach to give small and medium-sized businesses the »right of way« is confirmed by the RAL certification »Local Government with a Strong Orientation to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses«, which almost all towns and municipalities in the Oberbergische Kreis have successfully completed along with the county administration. This represents a unique achievement throughout Germany. Projects such as »stadt :impuls Gummersbach« – the transformation of a former inner-city industrial site into an attractive city-centre location for research, technology, trade, and advanced training – and »Naturerlebnis Nutscheid«, which converts a former military barracks complex into a nature experience park, are representative of the objective to actively shape the region. Initiatives of this kind make sure that the quality of life at the economic location Oberberg reaches a very high level.

Business Location Oberberg













Region Bonn / Rhein-Sieg / Ahrweiler

The economic region Bonn/Rhine-Sieg District/Ahrweiler: Barely any other region in Germany is capable of tapping into a catchment area of almost 50 million people living within a few hours’ drive. Alongside the Airport Cologne/Bonn – which is just a few minutes’ drive away from the city centre of Bonn – a number of other international airports such as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main and Luxembourg are also located within a radius of no more than 200 kilometres.
This economic area numbers among the most attractive growth regions in Germany with a focus on the economy, science, the congress and convention business and culture. Thanks to numerous new institutions, new foundations and settlements, more than 25,000 additional jobs have been created here over the past few years. Already in a few years’ time, the Rhine-Sieg District will be the most strongly populated district throughout Germany.

Bonn – home to many internationally orientated service providers

Bonn has reinvented itself: many international businesses have, meanwhile, located to the former state capital and these have brought with them numerous service providers to the area. Other industry sectors located here include IT and communications, the health industry and related service providers.
The success of the region is proven by attractive site factors. The foundation for the positive development of Bonn: future orientated economic structures with a knowledge intensive service sector, the highest forecasted population growth rate in North Rhine-Westphalia, above average purchasing power, a highly qualified work force potential with 20% academics and an excellent education and college system. With this, Bonn and the surrounding region is best equipped for a positive future development.
Bonn is the German UN city and hosts international congresses on future global issues. The federal city function is a further important pillar for the region with ministries, important top level federal authorities and numerous associations and lobbyists located here. There are more than 200 scientific facilities and institutions in the Bonn region including Bonn University, the Caesar Research Centre, the Fraunhofer and Max-Planck institutes and the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg which all network, from here, knowledge and innovations worldwide.


The Ahrweiler District  – internationally renowned for Germany’s most traditional racetrack, the Nürburgring – is top of the list in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatine as far as the establishment of new businesses is concerned. This »pole position« is evidence once again that, owing to a broad mix of industries with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses – i. e. without mono-structure and major dependence on large-scale enterprises – the economy in the Ahrweiler District is in a vital and robust shape. In addition, many of the innovative companies in the Ahrweiler District are present on international markets and in some cases have even assumed the position of market leader.

Bonn Profile