Buchholz and economic development agencies present business migration report for 2021

119 new companies, with 2,063 new jobs, come to the state despite the pandemic 

Defying the coronavirus: the relocation of 119 companies to the state last year will create 2,063 new jobs in Schleswig-Holstein. This puts the number of new jobs created at more than ten per cent above the figure from the previous year. The number of new companies has also increased slightly, with five new businesses (up 4.4 per cent). Eight companies were recruited from abroad. Dr Bernd Buchholz, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr Bernd Bösche, Managing Director of the Business Development and Technology Transfer Corporation of Schleswig-Holstein (WTSH), and Ulf Hahn, Managing Director of Stormarn Economic and Development Corporation (WAS), presented the business migration report.

‘Despite the very difficult economic situation throughout 2021, these are encouraging results and are evidence of the ongoing positive economic trends in the state,’ says Buchholz. ‘It also seems clear that the energy transition with all of its facets will add further momentum to this development in the coming years. However, at the present time, it is a great success that we are not only managing to keep pace with the recruitment situation given the effects of the pandemic, but have even slightly improved upon it.’ This success is thanks to the WTSH and the regional economic development agencies working together. 

Buchholz is particularly pleased about the results relating to the digital economy. In comparison with 2020, 550 new jobs were created across 26 companies. In the previous year, there were 130 jobs with the same number of companies. In addition to the digital economy and the information and communications technology sector, the food industry is also doing well, with 118 new jobs across eight companies. A large number of the new jobs are in machine construction. 283 new jobs were created across seven companies in this sector. Renewable energies and healthcare, which were identified as key areas in the state’s business recruitment strategy, are also experiencing positive trends. ‘This shows that we’re on the right path,’ says Buchholz.

One positive relocation example in machine construction is Hein & Oetting GmbH, which set up its new headquarters in Ahrensburg, creating more than 100 new jobs. Hein & Oetting is a leading systems provider of precision mechatronics and mechanics, specialising in the production of components, modules and finished products. Its customer base extends across numerous fields, ranging from medical technology, laser technology and aerospace technology to navigation and control technology, as well as measurement and analysis technology.

‘We are delighted to have the innovative company Hein & Oetting Feinwerktechnik GmbH, with its highly skilled positions, move to the Stormarn district,’ says Ulf Hahn, Managing Director of Stormarn Economic and Development Corporation. ‘Companies that are involved heavily in research and development are shaping and strengthening the situation in the south of Schleswig-Holstein. There are many location benefits here and, despite a shortage of space, it is proving an attractive place for future-proof companies to relocate to. Demand here in Stormarn, as in the entire Hanse region, is high, despite the difficult economic situation,’ says Hahn.  

The largest relocation of 2021 took place in Norderstedt, in the district of Segeberg. This was Serrala Group GmbH from Hamburg, a company involved in digital financial services on a global scale.

In the south of Schleswig-Holstein, in the districts of Herzogtum-Lauenburg, Pinneberg, Stormarn and Segeberg, there were 48 new companies with 1,372 new jobs, according to this business migration report. ‘That’s 19 companies more than the previous year,’ says Bösche, managing director of the WTSH. ‘We’re not looking on this development as a new trend, but rather as part of the typical range of fluctuation that will even out again over the next few years.’ 

The number of companies relocating to Schleswig-Holstein from Hamburg has increased significantly in recent years, one of them being Hein & Oetting GmbH. While 12 companies made this move in the previous year, this more than doubled in 2021, with 27 companies relocating from Hamburg. The number of new jobs coming about through this has also almost doubled compared to the previous year. The number of companies relocating to Schleswig-Holstein from the rest of Germany remained similar to the previous year (19) at 18. 

According to Buchholz and Bösche, 63 per cent of the new companies belong to the services sector (2020: 70 per cent), 20 per cent are in trade (2020: 14 per cent), and around 17 per cent are in manufacturing (2020: 16 per cent). This is a similar picture to that of the previous year. In relation to company size, the number of companies with more than 50 employees increased slightly in 2021. The average company size remained similar to the previous year (16), with 17 employees per company. 

As WTSH managing director Bösche said, Schleswig-Holstein has remained an attractive location for foreign investors in spite of the difficult economic situation worldwide. The eight new companies that relocated from abroad created 187 new jobs. In the previous year, there were ten new relocations from abroad with 192 new jobs. In 2021, two companies relocated from France, with one new company coming from Switzerland, Denmark, China, the USA, the United Kingdom and Estonia. ‘We are more optimistic about the future than ever before. Provided the global political situation does not deteriorate further, the positive trends from 2021 will continue and even increase over the coming months,’ says Bösche.

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