The region's core sectors

Logistics and the maritime economy


Whenever people think of the Northwest, sea, wind and ships come to mind. Logistics and the maritime economy are inextricably linked in this coastal region. These sectors play a key role in ensuring growth and employment.

The Northwest also makes significant contributions in addressing key issues of the future such as the energy revolution, climate change, environmental protection and natural resources. Enterprises and suppliers in the areas of shipping, ports, shipbuilding, maritime technology, offshore wind energy and maritime research and development benefit from cutting-edge networks to work closely together.

The numbers speak for themselves: in Germany, the maritime economy is one of the most significant sectors of economic activity with over 380,000 employees and annual revenues of around 50 billion euro. With over 80,000 of those employees being located in the Northwest, the region's contribution to this success is significant. With the deep-water ports of Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven, as well as the regional ports in Nordenham, Brake, Elsfleth and Oldenburg, as well as the distribution centers located along the A1 Autobahn, the region is a hub and transit point for all kinds of goods.

Food and agriculture

Even a quick glance at the figures reveals the impressive fact that the food and agricultural sectors are among the most successful in the Northwest. In the Münsterland region around Oldenburg, it is even the largest economic activity by far. Since 1994, gross output and added value have grown by over 60% in this region, which encompasses the Cloppenburg and Vechta districts. Since 1997, the industry's revenues have grown by 48% to 6.5 billion euros; export revenue has grown by 137%.

Many of the businesses that are based in the area are market leaders: not just in Germany, but in the European and global markets. Over 156,000 people are employed throughout the Northwest in fisheries and farming, including the production of food and animal feed. In addition, the region's successful agricultural and mechanical engineering sector includes world-renowned manufacturers such as Amazone, Big Dutchman and Krone.

One significant reason for this success is the commitment demonstrated by several scientific institutions such as the DIL in Quakenbrück, LUFA Nord-West in Oldenburg and NieKE, the Vechta-based Lower Saxony Agrifood Competence Center.

More informations about food sectors:

Automotive economics

A successful industry has grown up in the region, geographically close to major manufacturing facilities including those of VW in Emden and Daimler in Bremen. A study carried out by Jade University of Applied Sciences and the Northwest Automotive Cluster showed that in total, 200 companies were active in the sector, with around 85,000 employees. Alongside major manufacturers, the majority of businesses were small and medium-sized enterprises: total revenue was 20.76 billion euros, equivalent to approximately 6% of Germany's total automotive sector.

The most well known supplies and automotive equipment manufacturers include Vierol in Oldenburg, AMF Bruns in Apen and Graepel in Löningen. In addition, researchers in the region are working on alternative automotive energy systems from renewable sources in the region. As early as 2009, the Bremen-Oldenburg region was named a model region by the Federal Government as part of the National Development Plan for Electric Mobility.

Healthcare sectors

What is the healthcare sector? The core of this sector is the provision of medical care, both as a mobile service and from fixed locations. The extended sector includes sectors such as spas and health resorts, medical device companies and qualification providers. Spas and tourism also contribute to the sector. According to figures from the Bremen-Oldenburg Metropolitan Region, around 153,000 employees work for businesses in the healthcare sector in Northwest Germany.

The healthcare sector in the Northwest has huge potential for growth and is already massively important to the region.

The sector's growth potential is driven by a combination of demographic change, progress in medical technologies and people's new lifestyles and needs.

For instance, against a backdrop of a skills shortage and an ageing workforce, companies are reliant on expanding the scope and content of workplace healthcare programmes.