Schwetzingen, a large district town with about 22,000 residents, is located at the centre of the Rhine-Neckar metropolis region, in direct proximity to the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Speyer. The town is a medium-sized regional centre for a direct catchment area of more than 70,000 residents. Known for its attractive tourism offers - asparagus, castle garden, festivals and cultural diversity - Schwetzingen also has good prerequisites as a commercial site and a residential town, including:
- proximity to the ICE mode, harbour and freight traffic node Mannheim
- outstanding connection to the A 5 and A 6 motorways
- high-performance retail trade
- good infrastructure with diverse educational facilities
- new offers in the area of child day-care for toddlers
- a great selection of private and public services
- attractive inner city
In addition to some large operations - Möbel Höffner at the Northern outskirts and Fitnesspark Pfitzenmeier are known beyond the region - in particular small and medium-sized enterprises from production, trade, and particularly many service providers make up the economic foundation of Schwetzingen today. The town's importance for tourism leads to a good offering in the gastronomy and hotel areas in Schwetzingen as well. New development opportunities are the use of conversion areas at the former "Bundesbahnausbesserungswerk" (repair workshop for the Federal railway) (as of 2011) and the current premises of the US barracks (as of 2012/2013).
Economic Structural Change
Like that of many other areas, the economic life of Schwetzingen has been marked by considerable structural change in the last decades, moving away from agriculture and production, and towards service providers. The commercial crops asparagus, hops and tobacco, and the resulting founding of factories for canned food and tobacco processing, as well as several breweries, used to determine the availability of jobs in town. The closing of the "Bundesbahnausbesserungswerk" (1989) and the canned‑food factory Bassermann, which at times had in excess of 1,000 employees each, left a clear mark on the town. A new development was introduced for Schwetzingen in the scope of continuous urban development and positioning as a medium-sized regional centre and an attractive town of culture and tourism.