On 1 July 1985, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation officially started operations. “In the past 30 years, HWF achieved impressing results. It supplied commercial premises to almost 2,800 companies and helped numerous companies to set up their business in Hamburg. Thus, 58,000 jobs were newly created, and more than 200,000 jobs secured. HWF also stands for investment of more than one million euro”, said Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation. He continued: “As Minister of Economy, the 30th anniversary of the HWF is the perfect occasion to further focus and expand the services offered by HWF in future, and allow HWF to become even better.”
Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, managing director of HWF, added: “The inescapable scarcity of urban supply of market-ready commercial space provides a particular challenge for the economic development of growing cities. Therefore, we have systematically expanded the co-operation with the private real estate market in recent years. Today, we are thus a valuable partner to real estate investors and private brokers alike.”
Development and Marketing of Commercial and Industrial Premises
Most recently, the Hamburg Senate has been entrusting HWF with the development of new logistics space at Harburg-Neuland and expanded HWF’s responsibility in the marketing small commercial areas in Hamburg’s districts. Following a successful test phase, the development of new commercial space will generally be carried out by the HWF. In order to keep the industry in the city, HWF was also commissioned to draw up an action plan for the revitalisation of Hamburg-Billbrook, the largest industrial area outside the Port of Hamburg. The Hamburg Senate also seeks to significantly strengthen HWF, as agreed in the coalition agreement, with HWF becoming a one-stop agency for settlement and investments.
HWF was formed under Hamburg’s former First Mayor Klaus von Dohnanyi. Dohnanyi wanted to make sure that companies interested to do business in Hamburg met with contacts that spoke the language of business and knew the world of trade and industry. At that time, Hamburg suffered from a difficult economic situation. Dohnany entrusted Hamburg’s former Minister of Economy Volker Lange with the formation of HWF.
Cluster Policy Steadily Adopted and Expanded
Since then, HWF has been constantly adjusting its focus to the changing needs of the economy. Of particular note is HWF’s role in the development and implementation of the Sennte’s cluster strategy, introduced in 1996 and constantly amended ever since. While primarily focussing only on media, IT and telecommunications (MITT), the cluster policy was soon expanded to other sectors, with aviation and logistics following quickly. Today, also the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany and Renewables Hamburg are being administered by HWF.
SME Pilot Provides Guidance to Small and Medium-Sized Companies
In 2002, HWF introduced as a new service its so-called “SME Pilot”. As SME Pilot or “Mittelstandslotsin”, thus the German title, Uta Stammer and her team are the central point of contact for small and medium enterprises. Like a true pilot, they navigate Hamburg-based company through the channels of administration and mediate the interests of business and administration.
Service and Support For International Players
Also for the international economy, HWF is the first point of contact in Hamburg. In co-operation with country associations and consulates, it helps to constantly improve conditions for international companies and to settle new companies in Hamburg
Next to many small and medium-sized companies, the customer list of HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation also includes numerous global players, ranging from Asian shipping companies such as China Shipping, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin or NYK to Japanese companies like Olympus, Panasonic and Sharp. In recent years, American blue chips such as Google, Facebook, Twitter or Tesla have played an important role. Last year, HWF accompanied the relocation of Kellogg’s North European headquarters from Bremen to Hamburg. In addition, HWF also supported almost all well-known companies of the wind energy industry when settling in Hamburg.
Over the past 30 years, HWF also accompanied many Hamburg-based company in minor and major expansion projects. Worth mentioning are, inter alia, Airbus, Allianz, Eugen Block, Otto, Lufthansa Technik, and Siemens.
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