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China – NRW/Germany: Shaping digital transformation together!

  • At the Business and Investors Forum China 2017, representatives of large corporations and startups from China and Germany discuss the future potential of digitization.

Duisburg, 19. October 2017 – For the sixth time, the state-owned economic development agency NRW. INVEST is organizing the Business and Investors Forum China (BIFC) together with Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH, the Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftsförderung Duisburg mbH (GFW Duisburg) and the German-Chinese Business Association. Around 600 managers and experts from China and Germany will travel to this year's forum in Duisburg to exchange views on the future of the digital economy. The forum is regarded as an important network meeting which offers investors the opportunity to initiate Sino-German projects.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, NRW's Minister of Economic Affairs, emphasizes: "Digitization, artificial intelligence, energy turnaround and new mobility concepts offer opportunities for the Chinese and North Rhine-Westphalian economies. Here we must continue to work together on innovative solutions to exploit the opportunities for global players, SMEs, startups and our universities."

More than 1,000 Chinese companies are already managing their German and European business from NRW. "The interest of Chinese investors in the location remains unbroken. North Rhine-Westphalia is valued both as an innovative future location and as a logistics hub in Europe. In 2016 alone, 96 new companies from China came to NRW," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW. INVEST.

"The Ruhr Metropolis has the densest university landscape in Germany and is the number one region for the environmental economy in the state. This extensive know-how is of great interest to the Chinese," emphasizes Rasmus C. Beck, CEO of Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH.

There is a good reason why the Business and Investors Forum is being held in Duisburg for the second time: With more than five million people, the Ruhr Metropolis is an important market and leading logistics hot spot for China.

The freight train connection between the Port of Duisburg and China in particular contributes to the expansion of trade relations. "Thanks to the Silk Road Initiative, Duisburg is developing into China's gateway to Europe and vice versa. The increasing number of direct connections between Duisburg and China offers companies great opportunities to establish business relations and to handle goods transport efficiently. In addition, since China's President Xi Jinping visited Duisburg, we have seen an increase in the number of Chinese companies settling here," explains Ralf Meurer, Managing Director of GFW Duisburg.

In the keynote talk, Dr. Reinhold Achatz, head of technology at thyssenkrupp AG, reports on the role of Industry 4.0 in the company's development from steel giant to international technology group. Hong Yang, Managing Director of Minmetals Germany GmbH, Toni Cheng, Managing Director of Sengled GmbH and Dr. Julian Bosch, Managing Director of Intrapore GmbH discuss innovative approaches to energy and resource efficiency. Alexander Jobst, Marketing Director of FC Schalke 04, and Niklas Friederichsen, Head of Product and Sales at Mapudo GmbH, focus on digital trading processes.

The event's partners include Duisburger Hafen AG. An accompanying exhibition of all partners offers the possibility for exchange and networking. Guests also have the opportunity to compete with table tennis pro Timo Boll and representatives of FC Schalke 04 in various digital sports activities.

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