The AHV NRW Foreign Trade Association of North Rhine-Westphalia, registered association, founded as “Organisation of the foreign trade companies in North Rhine-Westphalia” in 1946 has its origin in Remscheid-Hasten, the tool region of North Rhine-Westphalia. As an amalgamation of international trading companies the AHV NRW has since then continuously shown its commitment for the safeguarding and promotion of foreign trade interests. Central aims are the practice-related improvements in the basic conditions for international trade as well as the political support of the foreign business.

The AHV NRW advocates a free and liberal economic and trade system worldwide. Only in this way can foreign trade in North Rhine-Westphalia fully satisfy its importance within the economy.

Through the connection to the Federal Association of the German Export Trade / Association for International Trade (BDEx) the AHV NRW is also actively integrated into the opinion-forming process surrounding planned legislation. Interests concerning economic policies are represented in Berlin and in Brussels in a compact way in the long-term.

An essential task here is target-oriented, efficient public relations work in order to reinforce the independent function of the foreign trade companies in the long-term.

The AHV NRW is closely linked with the German industry and business organisations in North Rhine-Westphalia through a multitude of partnerships. Good contacts on a federal and European level make it possible to discuss trade questions with decision-makers in parliaments and governments in an open dialogue.


NRW.International – promotion of foreign trade

The implementation of the promotion of foreign trade in North Rhine-Westphalia is carried out by NRW.International GmbH with registered seat in Düsseldorf. By order of the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Building, Housing and Transport of the state of NRW concrete measures such as cooperation events overseas, symposiums, organisation and execution of trips for entrepreneurs are jointly realised with the players of the promotion of foreign trade. The AHV NRW safeguards the interests of its members hereby as a member of the specialist advisory board.

An important focus of the promotion of foreign trade in NRW is the promotion of trade fairs. The state of NRW participates at selected specialist trade fairs overseas within the framework of joint company stands and Information Service Centres.

Irrespective thereof the tool of the “promotion of small groups” was introduced several years ago. With this flexible promotion tool companies have the possibility of an individual trade fair presence. The pre-requisite for this is that several small and medium-sized companies present themselves jointly at a trade fair.

The AHV NRW as well as other players of the promotion of foreign trade in NRW regularly submit concrete trade fair proposals to NRW.International for which a joint company stand overseas is also to be included in the overseas trade fair program in the respective following year.


Settlement policies – foreign companies in NRW

North Rhine Westphalia plays a central role as an international investment location of foreign companies in Europe. The London trade journal for direct investments overseas “fDi Magazine” examined the development of individual European regions between 2007 and 2008 as well as between 2009 and 2010. Conclusion: Although the number of investment projects in the “green field” fell substantially in the past two years North Rhine-Westphalia was able to assert itself against this trend during this period of time and is currently in second place directly behind Scotland. (NRW.Invest GmbH, 17.02.2011)

NRW.INVEST GmbH is a central point of contact for investments in North Rhine-Westphalia. It offers a One-Stop-Service of information about locations to potential investors from Germany and overseas.

The AHV NRW welcomes and supports the settlement policies of companies of foreign origin in North Rhine-Westphalia. Companies, which have settled here, have the possibility to use the association network of the AHV NRW for their economic development. The group of members of the AHV NRW notably also includes companies of foreign origin which develop and process the European market from NRW.


Landtag NRW – committee for Europa und Eine Welt [Europe and One World]

In the committee “Europa und Eine Welt” of the North Rhine-Westphalian Landtag [State parliament] members of parliament of the factions prepare the formation of the parliamentary will in questions relating to Europe. They in particular deal explicitly with actual developments in the European Union, which have implications on North Rhine-Westphalia. For the member companies of the AHV NRW this is a good opportunity to make an active contribution to the formation of the parliamentary will.

The members of the committee are informed about the EU policies of North Rhine-Westphalia by the state government in real time. Within the framework of the series of events “Experience Europe” high-ranking representatives of the EU Council Presidency are invited regularly in order to present the political focuses of their country.

Even if we live in a united Europe there is a host of subjects, which relate to the inland trade, for example conditions under value added tax law or the various interpretations of provisions under customs law.

The aims of foreign trade policies, for which AHV NRW advocates, are carried out in close coordination with the Federal Association of the German Export Trade (BDEx) as well as its top European association Eurocommerce with registered seat in Brussels.

The joint interests of the member companies from North Rhine-Westphalia in particular lie in:

  • A fair and free world trade
  • Promotion of development partnerships of the NRW economy in developing and emerging economies
  • Simplification of bureaucratic requirements on all levels
  • Clarity with regulatory policies by taking into consideration principles of market economy
  • Accelerated approval procedures in all interests of foreign trade such as e.g. application for the granting of export permits by the Federal Department for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA)
  • Reduction in tariff and non-tariff trade barriers
  • Completion of the single European market
  • Freedom to settle


The foreign trade in North Rhine-Westphalia is a guarantee for economic growth and prosperity. Within the framework of the foreign trade policies the AHV NRW occupies itself with questions relating to the following subjects:

  • State and private export credit insurance
  • Export control on a federal and on a European level
  • Implementation of the modernised customs code
  • Right of origin
  • Antidumping
  • Global trade liberalisation
  • Multilateral trade agreements
  • Global opening of the agricultural markets
  • Successful completion of the Doha round within the framework of the WTO
  • Further legislation proceedings with regard to foreign trade
  • Promotion of foreign trade


The pre-requisite for successful foreign trade policies of the AHV NRW is an open communication with the member companies on the one side and with the superordinate associations on the other side.

© 2018 AHV NRW - Foreign Trade Association North Rhine-Westphalia e.V.