On June 22, 2006, business developers in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region signed the first contract on co-operation in the presence of economic ministers from Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig Holstein, thereby forming the Economic Council. This marked early cross-state co-operation to promote business in north Germany.
Looking back on the events Tuesday, Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, said: “Co-operation among business developers is an important part of development in the north German economic region. The economy does not stop at state borders and when it comes to meeting corporate needs, we should not think merely in terms of districts and borders. The close co-operation among business developers has strengthened the north’s competitiveness.”
Marketing the location
Dr. Olaf Krüger, spokesperson for the Economic Council, said: “The co-operation is not limited to merely supporting firms here, but also helps to attract and market companies. The Economic Council is not only an excellent committee for obtaining information and exchanging opinions. It also strengthens national and international marketing of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. We business developers think like north Germans here. Each company that locates here contributes to our overall, regional strength.”
The almost 30-year tradition of business promotion in the north dates back to the contract on co-operation signed between the economic and development company, WAS Stromarn mbH and the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation. Since 1998, a contract has outlined co-operation between the state business companies of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as HWF’s collaboration with the Süderelbe AG. This is also based on a contract and was updated in 2012. Since 1998, HWF has included the entire metropolitan region with its economic strengths and focal points in international marketing.
Expanding the Hamburg Metropolitan Region
On June 22, 2006, business developers joined forces in the Economic Council to co-ordinate the activities of economic development companies especially in cluster management and marketing the location. Originally, the council included a representative of institutions promoting commerce in districts across the Hamburg Metropolitan Region as well as a state representative of Lower Saxony and a representative of the Wirtschaftsförderung und Technologietransfer Schleswig-Holstein GmbH (WTSH), HWF and Süderelbe AG.
In 2012, the metropolitan region was expanded to include Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania’s Invest in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH as well as business developers in Lübeck, Neumünster and the districts of Ostholstein, southwest Mecklenburg and northwest Mecklenburg. In 2017, the metropolitan region will be expanded by the city of Schwerin and Altkreis Parchim.
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