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Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Andreas Rieckhof, Daniela Behrens, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, Dr. Jörn Klimant (v.l.n.r.) © Metropolregion Hamburg

"Mission Statement 2030" for Lower Elbe economic region signed

Stade future conference. Region of 1.8 million employees is key, economic area in north Germany

The partners in the “Transnational Regional Management for the Lower Elbe Economic Region” (Länderübergreifendes Regionalmanagement für den Wirtschaftsraum Unterelbe) aim to focus more national and international attention on the area, its locational advantages and find a joint position for the future. One stage finish of the “Mission Statement 2030” has just been presented at a conference about the future in Stade. This outlined the vision for the future and concrete projects for development along the vital Elbe river.

EUR 800,000 for further development of the economic region

The Lower Elbe economic region with over 1.8 million employees, who are subject to mandatory social insurance, is presently one of the most important regions in north Germany. The region covers the city of Hamburg, the Pinneberg, Steinburg and Ditmarschen districts of Schleswig-Holstein state and the districts of Stade and Cuxhaven in Lower Saxony. The metropolitan region of Hamburg and the economy pay nearly EUR 800,000 towards further development there. The total sum includes EUR 560,000 in promotion funds from the metropolitan region and EUR 240,000 from the economy. Close collaboration between economic promotion agencies, the chambers and the state aims to overcome existing administrative and state barriers and strengthen co-operation in the Hamburg metropolitan region.

Further possibilities discussed

The importance of co-operation across states was reflected Wednesday in a panel discussion at a conference about the future in Stade. Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, Deputy State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniela Behrens, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy in the state of Lower Saxony, and Andreas Rieckhof, State Council of the Economic Authority of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, discussed more possibilities of making the future of the economic region promising.

Rieckhof said: “We have made a good step towards cross-border collaboration hitherto. But we still have plenty to do to make the Lower Elbe region an internationally successful economic region. We must remove mainly economic obstacles and state-specific egoism.” He added: “The improved competition will strengthen the entire metropolitan region. The ongoing regional management should be orientated on successfully establishing Siemens wind turbines in Cuxhaven.”

Diverse projects

Martina Hummel-Manzau, Managing Director of egeb, also believes that the potential for economic promotion has yet to be fully used in Brunsbüttel. She said: “Implementing the mission concept should help turn the Lower Elbe economic region into one of Germany’s leading energy regions by 2030 and into an innovative industrial economic region in Europe.”

Apart from the industrial and chemical network, the already completed projects include a conceptual study of the Lower Elbe region as an energy location, an online tool for marketing prime industrial properties and the site atlas of chemistry, which certifies the huge innovation potential of medium-sized companies right up to corporate groups, after a comprehensive analysis.

Securing and creating jobs

In reference to the direction, Dr. Jörn Klimant, District Administrator of the leading Dithmarschen district, said: “The tangible results should be an incentive for us to secure the already-started activities sustainably and in the long term.” He added: “Developing our joint economic region needs a long-term perspective.” Securing existing jobs and creating new ones and strengthening the economy can only be achieved by “intensifying regional co-operation along the value chain.” A good example is Siemens’ goal of establishing around 1,000 new jobs in Cuxhaven. Commencing Elbe ferry services between Brunsbüttel und Cuxhaven in August 2015 has been crucial, he added.


Leaders in the project including representatives of economic promotion agencies from Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Lower Saxony as well as Chambers of Industry and Commerce, communities and companies view the “Mission Concept 2030” for the Lower Elbe economic region, on the one hand, as a source of inspiration and guide for joint development strategies for industries and the Lower Elbe energy region. However, the emphasis is on implementing specific measures.

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