February 2013

gwSaar Presents Annual Report

Successful Relocation Policy for the Business Location Saarland

Despite the presently prevailing wait-and-see attitude of investors in view of the Euro crisis, gwSaar could, in 2012, too, achieve respectable results in the field of business relocations. In 2012, 27 companies decided to relocate in Saarland, each of them creating 24 new jobs on average. The total number of new jobs was 647. And in the boom year of 2011, even 30 companies, each of them creating 40 new jobs on average, had set up business in Saarland. Since 2005, gwSaar has been able to attract 167 new businesses to Saarland. All in all, over 6200 new jobs were, thus, created.


At the presentation of the annual report, Economics Minister Heiko Maas stressed that gwSaar fullfilled its official task to attract new companies to Saarland and to create new jobs `in an exemplary and outstanding manner`. He continued that `many companies that have settled down here laud the consequent project management and clear structures of Saarland´s economic promotion. gwSaar´s activities and successes resulting from this were`unique in Germany`, he said.


As Thomas Schuck, Managing Director of gwSaar, outlined during the presentation, the number of site inquiries from both industry and the service sector is almost balanced. 47 % of all business relocations in the last five years had an industrial background and accounted for 60 % of the newly created jobs in that period. `Over 3600 new jobs were created by all in all 103 industrial firms that have been relocated here since 2008 – a top performance in relation to geographical size` , said Schuck.
Responsibilities of gwSaar include a targeted marketing of the business location, investment promotion as well as consult and support of companies interested in locating in Saarland. In doing so, gwSaar pursues activities within Germany as well as abroad. In the international context, main focus is set on the following countries: France, Italy, Austria, Israel, Korea, Japan and the United States. Here, gwSaar has, over the years, built up an international network of contact points in the respective target regions. Another point of attraction was the opening of gwSaar´s office in Berlin in May 2012. The Saarland representation in Berlin is engaged in relocating both German and international businesses and also establishes contacts to the trade offices of embassies and associations.


71 % of all company relocations and expansions between 2005 and 2012 were accomplished by German businesses. International business relocations from European neighbouring states, North America and Asia accounted for more than 50 % of the newly created jobs.
According to an Ernst & Young study, 21.5 new jobs on average were created in Germany in 2011 through foreign direct investment. In Saarland, the number of new jobs per international relocation was 32. This, too, is top in Germany. Also the number of newly located companies per 1000 sq.km. is above average: 4.7 in Saarland against the national average of 1.6
In this context, gwSaar´s main acquisition tool was its presence at various events meeting Saarland-specific requirements: 52 events in 2012, of them 24 specialized forums, 17 trade fairs as well as five location presentations and five company visits. `Only six of our nine employees are directly occupied with location promotion. With this comparatively small team we have, in 2012 alone, generated over 2400 personal contacts – more than 400 new contacts per team member`, said Managing Director Rita Gindorf-Wagner.


The concept of the Saar Holding Company (SHS) is unique in Germany. The SHS network concentrates the competence and skills of the Saarland Economic Promotion Corporation (gwSaar), the real estate companies Saarland Development Corporation (SBB), Saarland Planning and Construction Corporation (LEG Saar) and LEG Service alike. So, the services offered can be matched with the requirements of the individual project – from relocation consult and site development to planning and the realization of construction measures. The bundling of skills of Saarland´s economic promotion and property agencies enables us to develop and apply solutions tailored to the investor´s needs`, said Jürgen Barke, Chairman of the Board of SHS Strukturholding Saar and State Secretary at the Economics Ministry. Managing Directors of the SHS Group are Rita Gindorf-Wagner, Thomas Schuck and Bernd Therre.
In order to attract investors, a sufficient number of premium and fully developed industrial areas must be provided. According to Bernd Therre, that´s why the Saarland Government has launched the Industrial Areas Masterplan Saarland in 2007. Developed by the SHS subsidiary SBB, the Masterplan is now being implemented and marketed by gwSaar. In the next few years, 264 hectares of land will be developed at four industrial areas. Of them, two areas (Tholey-Theley and Losheim-Niederlosheim) are already ready to be built on.