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21 February 2024 - Jann Raveling

Bremen continues to attract foreign investors

Investing in Bremen

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2023 in the Hanseatic City

Last year, international companies and investors invested around 8 million Euros in Bremen. In particular, it was funding for sustainable projects that attracted special attention at home and abroad.

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are a clear sign that the Federal State of Bremen has an excellent international reputation. Companies are attracted by the combination of an outstanding logistics infrastructure, rapid transport links and industrial and technological expertise.

In 2023, 49 companies established themselves in the Federal State of Bremen, investing around 8 million Euros (on par with the previous year). The majority of these companies came from the logistics, renewable energies, business-related services or mechanical engineering sector.

Around a third of the new arrivals came from Turkey and China – but other EU nations and the USA – were also represented as source countries for the FDI. By having its own international offices in China, Turkey, Vietnam, England and the Northern Germany Innovation Office in the USA, Bremen is well-represented on the global stage and can advise interested companies directly, in their own countries.

industrial plant
Parts of the battery recycling plant at Redux (archive image) © WFB/Strangmann

Battery cell recycling at Redwood Materials

A notable example of international interest in Bremen as a location is when Redwood Materials from Nevada in the USA moved into a facility in Bremerhaven in September 2023.

The company, founded by JB Straubel, the former Chief Technical Officer at Tesla, specialises in recycling batteries, especially those used in laptops, smartphones and electric vehicles (EVs). This is a rapidly growing market, particularly in the EV sector, as ever more vehicle batteries will reach the end of their working lives in the coming years. Redwood Materials aims to become a key player in this burgeoning market.

As part of its expansion into Europe, Redwood Materials acquired the Bremerhaven-based company Redux Recycling (along with its 70-strong workforce) in 2023, establishing a new company site. Redux was well-known as a specialist in processing and recycling old batteries. At present, the facility can dismantle up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per annum and there are plans to expand this capacity even further in future.

Straubel, the company's founder, was able to give a good number of reasons for the decision to come to Bremerhaven: It was not only Redux Recycling's wealth of expertise which fitted perfectly into Redwood Materials' own technological profile, but also the excellent transport links throughout the Federal State of Bremen. This meant that Redwood Materials could bring materials in by ship and also benefit from close proximity to North Germany's major car-production sites from which Redwood Materials got its supplies of old batteries. The planned expansion of the facility's capacity will also create new jobs in the coming years.

As no information about the exact purchase price has been published, this sum is not included in the total amount of FDI.

Asian food is also becoming increasingly popular in Bremen © unsplash

A new offering for devotees of Asian cuisine: Orient Master

Another example of FDI in Bremen comes from a completely different sector: In Spring 2023, the opening of the "Go Asia" supermarket in Bremen's city centre broadened the culinary landscape for the city's inhabitants. This supermarket chain from China (with German headquarters, Orient Master GmbH, in Berlin) now has 46 branches throughout Germany. In Bremen, a team of two dozen staff ensure that the shelves are always filled with Asian foodstuffs and ingredients. Up to 25 jobs will be created.

The food industry and the logistics sector are among the most important industries in Bremen's industrial sectors. Consequently, Bremen is ideally placed to supply the needs of the international trade in foodstuffs deriving from or destined for Asia.

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