Like other regions in Germany, the northern German states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg must increasingly face up to global competition. In the course of globalization, value added chains become divisible and can be stretched all over the globe, so that even distant locations become direct competitors. In order to remain competitive in the global competition for sales markets and production locations, the bundling of forces is near for Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Appropriate synergies can be expected on a number of fields of cooperation. Economic and political integration, however, will only have the expected results if there is a willingness to accept a reconciliation of interests on an equal footing.