Fast-paced structural changes and continued economic expansion have lead to dynamic sales and export growth, particularly in Hessen's high-tech and services sectors. Hessen maintains excellent business contacts with EU countries. Thanks to the free trade of goods and services within the EU, trade is freely conducted with 28 countries. It is not surprising that two-thirds of all imports and exports are from/to EU lands.
Three-quarters of all foreign direct investment comes from the EU, and more than one-third of Hessen's direct investment was destined for the EU. More than €66 billion in foreign investment came to Hessen – nearly 14% of the total investment in Germany.
Between 2007 and 2011, 3,535 investment projects from about 3,000 foreign companies were identified by the fDi Markets database. With 834 projects, 2011 was the most successful year since the database was created and placed Germany number five on the global listing.
In 2015, there were 156 new foreign investment projects in Hessen. In 2015, 37 firms came from the U.S., 36 from the People's Republic of China, 15 from Great Britain and 9 each from Japan and Korea. They were followed by France, Switzerland and Turkey with 5 settlements each.
Foreign companies are most active in the following sectors: software/IT services, corporate services, financial services, biotech/pharmaceuticals/healthcare, and automotive supply. And the trend continues.
About one third of all foreign investments are sales and marketing offices which provide various services such as distribution and logistics or serve as the German/European headquarters.