Industrie- und Handelskammer Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld

Elsa-Brändström-Str. 1-3
33602 Bielefeld

Tel.: 0521 554-0
Fax.: 0521 554-444

.: 08 - 17 | : 08 - 15

Paderborn + Höxter

Stedener Feld 14
33104 Paderborn

Tel.: 05251 1559-0
Fax.: 05251 1559-31

: 08 - 17 | : 08 - 15


32427 Minden

Tel.: 0571 38538-0
Fax.: 0571 38538-15

: 08 - 17 | : 08 - 15

  • Newsletter Icon
  • Telefon Icon
Welcome  to the IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld
Please contact us, if you have any questions.
Welcome to the IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld

Economic Struture & Mobility

East Westphalia or Ostwestfalen, as the region is known in German, comprises the city of Bielefeld and the administrative districts of Minden-Lübbecke, Herford, Gütersloh, Paderborn and Höxter. The 54 towns and districts, covering an area of 5,272 square kilometres, are home to some 1.7 million inhabitants or over 750.000 private households. Ostwestfalen generates a gross domestic product of 68.902 euros per employee.

The strong economic region is home to many innovative and world-famous companies (including Bertelsmann, Claas, DMG Mori, Dr. Oetker, Melitta or Schüco among others), many of which are still family-owned enterprises. Furthermore, particularly the so-called “Hidden Champions” shape the region’s special character: small and mid-sized companies, which are highly innovative, extremely successful and often global market leaders in their particular niche.

For several decades, the region underwent severe structural change. In the past, one fourth of all workers earned their money in the traditional sector of textile and clothing and one fifth in the wood processing industry.

Nowadays, the region enjoys a healthy mixture of industries with the largest industrial branch being the manufacture of food products and beverages (21%) followed by manufacture of machinery (16%) and furniture (11%), electrical equipment (10%) and fabricated metal products (8%). However, Ostwestfalen not only comprises of a strong industry but a continuously rising service sector as well, containing many companies focussing on IT, consulting, health services and various other branches.

The region’s highly developed infrastructure provides companies with fast connections to their respective markets. The A2 motorway is not only a vital link between the industrial Ruhr District and Berlin but has developed into a central axis between Paris and Warsaw. Important destinations like Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich are easily reachable by the A30, A33 and A44 motorways. IC/ICE railway lines provide necessary rail connections, while the Mittelland Canal offers transportation for ships. Paderborn-Lippstadt is the regional airport offering numerous flights with other airports like Hannover, Düsseldorf or even Frankfurt being within easy reach.