Invest Region Leipzig GmbH

Zwenkau green industrial park: Michael Körner interviewed by Leipziger Volkszeitung

Big plans for the Leipzig economic region

In an interview with Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper, Michael Körner, Managing Director of Invest Region Leipzig GmbH, spoke about the development of the new Zwenkau "Green Industrial Park" and its significance for the Leipzig economic region. Parts of this interview were published in the online edition of the LVZ on 21 January 2024 under the title "Hope for over 1,000 new jobs: What's behind Zwenkau's plans for a "green industrial estate"" by Florian Reinke.

1500 new jobs for the region

LVZ: A green industrial park is to be created in Zwenkau. There is speculation of a possible 1500 new jobs. What does this development mean for the Leipzig economic region and how is Invest Region Leipzig GmbH reacting to this project?

Körner: Firstly, this development signifies that the region is growing. The economic beacon effect of the city of Leipzig is becoming increasingly noticeable in the surrounding area. Economic growth has considerable positive effects for the region: investment and expansion of the entire infrastructure (roads, daycare centres, schools, etc.), an attractive labour market and an increase in the standard of living of the population.

In addition, the green industrial park in Zwenkau is a clear sign of the region's attractiveness. Such large areas offer manufacturing companies the opportunity and scope to realise their production properties according to their own ideas.

Invest Region Leipzig GmbH welcomes this development. Now that the site is ready for construction, we can market it effectively, both in direct contact with national and international companies and at international trade fairs such as MIPIM in Cannes or EXPO-Real in Munich.

A special feature of the Zwenkau site is its proximity to the Böhlen-Lippendorf Chemical Park. This proximity offers a particular suitability for chemical-related industries and synergies.

LVZ: Are further developments of industrial sites of this size planned in the area or are corresponding developments already underway? If so, what are they?

Körner: Yes, there are other developments of industrial sites of this size in the Leipzig area. In the north of the city of Leipzig, in the immediate vicinity of the airport and Porsche, the development of Radefelder Allee is planned, and the former foundries and the Panattoni development there are also creating space for large-scale settlements. Further potential sites are also being developed in the district of Leipzig, currently in Frohburg and Naunhof, for example.

LVZ: How do you rate the chances of finding interested parties/companies for the site in Zwenkau without major problems? How well do you think the Leipzig economic region is positioned in competition with other regions? (Are there possibly already interested parties for the industrial site?)

Körner: We see very good opportunities to find interested parties for the Zwenkau site. There is already a high level of demand from companies in future-oriented industries that are in line with global economic trends. These include energy and environmental technology, such as the production of solar cells, hydrogen or battery production and recycling. The semiconductor industry will also play a special role for the Leipzig region and Central Germany as a whole in the coming years. Leipzig is located exactly between Magdeburg and Dresden, making it an ideal location for companies in the chip industry value chain. Areas ready for construction must be made available for this purpose.

The Leipzig economic region competes very favourably with other regions. With the combination of the city and district of Leipzig, we have an attractive economic region that attracts both companies and labour. In addition, there is a wide range of educational opportunities, cultural offerings, a high quality of life, a favourable cost of living, local recreational areas and tourism. This overall package is of great importance for the labour force and an important locational advantage for companies.

In addition, our economic region of Leipzig offers optimal framework conditions for companies. In addition to a good infrastructure, this also includes subsidies of up to 35 per cent for relocation investments - something other regions can only dream of.

LVZ: The "green industrial park" in Zwenkau is just one of many current economic developments around Leipzig: we are also thinking of Schkeuditz (Mytheresa, airport) or Markranstädt (Skeleton). Do you share the impression that companies are increasingly settling in the area surrounding Leipzig, or that space potential is being activated here? What are the possible reasons for this? (Is it possible that there is no more space in Leipzig itself?)

Körner: Leipzig remains the driving force. The growth of the region is leading to a natural development in that the region is growing together and the districts are increasingly benefiting from this. At the same time, companies have individual location criteria. It is therefore obvious that space-intensive requirements in particular will be found outside the urban area. A prerequisite is always the availability and development of space (Radefelder Allee, Theklafelder, Grimma, etc.) Other criteria that play a role in the location decision are, for example, proximity to the airport (Mytheresa). It is good that the potential sites are being developed successively and not all at the same time, for example Grimma (development of more than 30 ha and sale to the project developers GLP and HINES), Markranstädt (revitalisation of brownfield sites by ecoPARKS - Skeleton) and Zwenkau and Frohburg as greenfield sites.