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China – NRW/Germany: Together for innovation

  • At the Business and Investors Forum China 2018 and the integrated Düsseldorf China Dialog, high-ranking representatives from business and politics from China and Germany discuss the future topics of digitization and smart city models.

For the seventh time, the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST is hosting the Business and Investors Forum China together with the state capital Düsseldorf and the German-Chinese Business Association. This year for the first time, the Düsseldorf China Dialog, a series of events organized by the China Competence Center Düsseldorf, was integrated into the Business and Investors Forum China. Around 500 managers and experts from China and Germany are traveling to Düsseldorf for this year's forum to discuss products and business models for digitization. The forum is regarded as an important network meeting that offers investors the opportunity to initiate Sino-German projects.

For the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Chinese companies are important cooperation partners for the advancement of digital transformation. "As an excellent research and business location, North Rhine-Westphalia has outstanding prerequisites for an innovative, digital future," explains Christoph Dammermann, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. "German-Chinese cooperation will play an increasingly important role, especially in new technologies in the Smart City and Smart Mobility areas".

Following its last visit in 2013, the BIFC is now returning to the state capital Düsseldorf. With good reason, says Thomas Geisel, the city's Mayor: "Düsseldorf is the most important Chinese location in Germany and a hotspot for digitization in NRW. Here, German and Chinese companies have been jointly developing future technologies for more than 10 years and bringing them to market successfully".

The forum offers a platform for exchange between governments, companies and research institutions from Germany and China. Haiyang Feng, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Düsseldorf says: "The federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has always played a leading role in Germany in the exchange and cooperation with China. With the support of the state government, the city of Düsseldorf and other cities, NRW.INVEST has hosted the Business and Investors Forum China for seven years in succession, thereby significantly promoting cooperation between China and NRW. In view of the current international economic and trade turbulences, it is now more important than ever to strengthen cooperation between China and Germany. In the spirit of opening up innovation with all German partners, the Chinese side wants to lead the existing good cooperation to a win-win situation".

China is clearly at the forefront of foreign direct investment in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 1,100 Chinese companies now manage their German and European business from NRW. "Our state has an excellent reputation in China," stresses Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "Due to the high location quality and the connection via Belt & Road, we have become the premium location for Chinese companies in Germany". 20 years ago NRW.INVEST opened its first representative office in China in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. Foreign offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu followed.

"Since the opening of the China Competence Center, Düsseldorf has continued to develop as a Chinese location," emphasizes Uwe Kerkmann, Head of the Economic Development Office of the state capital Düsseldorf. "More than 520 Chinese companies are active in the city area, primarily technology and digital companies. The active involvement of these companies in local innovation networks, such as digihub Düsseldorf/Rhineland, is an important factor for our success. As an economic development agency, we support innovation cooperations in Düsseldorf."

Dr. Gerhard Eschenbaum, Deputy Managing Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düsseldorf, emphasizes: "This year's Business and Investors Forum China is setting the right course with its focus on the topic of innovation. We have to reply to China's planned leap to innovation world leadership both entrepreneurially and politically".

At this year's Business and Investors Forum China, Frank Sieren and Thomas Heyder, Senior Vice President of T-Systems International, will discuss the future and opportunities of the globally networked economy.

At the 5th Düsseldorf China Dialog, Bas Zwartkruis, Deputy Country Manager ZTE Germany, Dr. Klemens Gaida, Managing Director Digihub Düsseldorf Rheinland, Beate Overbeck, Head of Government Affairs Mobike and Peter Adelskamp, Digitization Officer of the City of Düsseldorf will discuss the city of tomorrow and present Smart City models in Germany and China.

Sandy Zhou, Country Manager TCL Germany, David Wang, Deputy CEO Huawei Germany, Moritz Seiler, Manager International Affairs METRO, Andreas Gagidis, patent attorney and partner at dompatent von Kreisler and Toni Cheng, CEO Alibaba Cloud will discuss innovative technologies for digitization.

One of the partners at the event is dompatent von Kreisler. An accompanying exhibition of all partners offers an opportunity for exchange and networking. In addition, the guests will have the opportunity to test themselves against table tennis professional Timo Boll and representatives of Fortuna Düsseldorf at table football.