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China and North Rhine-Westphalia – partners for innovation and future technologies

Duisburg, 13 November 2015 – Today, the NRW state government and the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST are hosting the Business and Investors Forum China for the fourth time. For this year's forum, which is being organized jointly with the economic development agency metropoleruhr in Duisburg for the first time, approximately 700 visitors have registered from Germany home and abroad. The Business and Investors Forum China has thus developed into one of the most important Sino-German economic dialogue platforms in Germany. The event is taking place in cooperation with the Economic Development Corporation of Duisburg, the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in NRW, and NRW.International.

Chinese and German experts discuss the potential of the economic future of both states in lectures and panel sessions. The participants agree that, in spite of reduced growth rates in the Chinese economy, sufficient development potential still exists in cooperation. North Rhine-Westphalian Economics Minister Garrelt Duin explains: "The Chinese economy is currently undergoing a profound transformation, with many standards being qualitatively improved. A first step is the Chinese government strategy 'Made in China 2025'. China wants to be more than the workbench of the world. The modernization of China's economy also opens up new market opportunities for our economy, and we must now seize these opportunities quickly."

There are now more than 850 Chinese companies based in North Rhine-Westphalia. They value the location in particular because of its economic strength and its innovative medium-sized industry. Duisburg's mayor Sören Link points out: "The freight train link established in 2011 between Chongqing and the Port of Duisburg, the so-called new Silk Road, has ensured that the Ruhr Metropolis has become even more attractive for the Chinese economy." A good example of a Chinese settlement is the company NGC, the Chinese market leader in the field of transmission and drive technology for wind power and industrial applications, which was won for Duisburg with the support of NRW.INVEST. The company settled in the Port of Duisburg at the beginning of 2015. "We opted for Duisburg as our European headquarters because the location is ideal for us as a logistics hub for central Europe on the one hand. On the other hand, we can support our European customers perfectly with our services from here," underlines Dr. Jianhui Gou, Executive Director, China Transmission, Managing Director and President NGC Gears.

"The interest of Chinese companies in NRW as a business location is unbroken," emphasizes Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "In 2014 alone, 79 new companies from China came to our state, and this year there are already 75." In China, the Ruhr is known as a region of successful structural change. "Nearly 9,000 Chinese people now live in the Ruhr region. Many of them are students. This trend is rising, as is the number of Chinese companies settling here. The Ruhr Metropolis with over five million people is an important market and logistics center for China, but also a reservoir of skilled labor and innovation," explains Rasmus C. Beck, CEO of Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH.

And Dr. Herbert Jakoby, Head of Foreign Trade in the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs and CEO at NRW.INVEST, underlines: "With the new Silk Road, the western regions of China are moving more into focus. They still offer huge growth potential which we want to open up for the companies of North-Rhine Westphalia."

Partners of the event include Commerzbank and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.