2020 positive for Hamburg Invest despite pandemic

Economic development good - focus on innovation, digitalisation and sustainability
23 February 2021
Business people in Port of Hamburg

Hamburg Invest presented Tuesday (February 23, 2021) key annual figures for 2020 such as 9,504 jobs created and secured, about 1,000 companies serviced and an investment volume of over EUR 588 million. Speaking at the presentation of the annual report in Hamburg's City Hall, Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, remarked: "Despite the pandemic, economic investment in Hamburg has been  strong. This extremely powerful signal confirms Hamburg’s great potential as a business location."  He added: "To keep it that way, we need to provide companies with room to grow - innovation hubs and startup centres, spaces for pioneering industries and logistics, as well as commercial spaces for skilled trades and SMEs. That is the basis of a future 'Made in Hamburg'.” 

High value-added effects

Hamburg Invest’s activities are likely to trigger value-added effects of EUR 1.7 billion, amounting to approximately 1.5 per cent of the total gross value added in Hamburg last year, according to a study by Prognos AG. Hamburg Invest has helped create and secure some 16,150 jobs, which are expected to generate EUR 155 million in fiscal effects. Westhagemann pointed out: “Hamburg Invest’s work strengthens Hamburg as a business location sustainably and in the long term. Every euro invested in business development is paying off.”

Focal points in 2020

Last year, Hamburg Invest focused on innovation, digitalisation and sustainability and targeted its marketing activities accordingly. Most of the companies supported by Hamburg Invest were in the innovative SME or start-ups sector. Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest, remarked: “Especially in the corona era, it was and remains right to focus consistently on industries with maximum value creation. We need growth especially in the technology and knowledge-based sectors of the economy– and we are fostering growth. These sectors are going to secure employment and growth in Hamburg in future.”


The results are on a high-level with an increased number of expansion projects despite the ongoing pandemic. As part of the government’s COVID-19 subsidies programme, Hamburg Invest created an official video tutorial for Hamburg-based businesses at short notice. The video was clicked about 230,000 times and viewed around 23,000 times. If these figures were added to the consulting figures, the number would in fact be multiplied. Six companies received support with settling in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region in 2020 (2019: 6). Hamburg Invest brokered a total of 405,25 acres (16.4 hectares) of commercial space including 202,6 acres (8.2 hectares) in private and 202,6 acres (8.2 hectares) in urban space. 


The development of Hamburg’s innovation parks has also progressed. The tecHHub and tecHHub Village projects, adjacent to the DESY Innovation Factory, are both nearing completion in Altona. Hamburg Invest initiated the logistics Micro-Hubs project, which is aimed at optimising the last mile for deliveries to end-customers, and implemented this innovative project on behalf of Hamburg’s Ministry of Economics. The project is now considered a benchmark for other German regions. As part of a preceding study, Hamburg Invest gauged the needs of service providers in terms of property and legal requirements. Based thereon, it has identified a variety of potentially suitable locations across Hamburg.


The pandemic saw significant changes for companies seeking to relocate in 2020. Foreign investment in Europe plunged by 71 per cent, according to the United Nations. Yet, this trend was considerably less pronounced in Hamburg and 59 relocation projects were successfully completed in 2020. Another six companies including the following two settled in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region bringing the decline to slightly under 25 per cent.  

Beflex GmbH 

Beflex, based in Baden-Württemberg-based, has set up a branch in Hamburg. The company specialises in innovative, small-batch electronics production and has established a prototyping centre in Hamburg in the aviation, medical and industrial electronics sectors.


Vässla, Sweden’s top manufacturer of electric scooters, expanded to Germany in 2019 and co-ordinates its activities on the German market from Hamburg. Vässla now aims to solve today’s urban mobility issues in style and offers Nordic design paired with a powerful electric engine and a long-lasting battery.

Hamburg Invest

Hamburg Invest is the one-stop agency for relocations and investments in Hamburg as well as the main partner of commerce on all business development issues. A wide range of services is available especially for SMEs. Hamburg Invest also markets urban commercial and industrial sites - from site development, advertising and customer approach to the land contract. Technology and knowledge-based start-ups find their central point of contact there.