Reception for the Chinese New Year in Düsseldorf
This year, representatives of Chinese companies and institutions from Düsseldorf and the region took up the invitation of the state capital Düsseldorf and the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST to come to Areal Böhler in Düsseldorf for the traditional New Year's reception for the Chinese business community on Thursday, 17 January.
Mayor Thomas Geisel, Minister of Economic and Digital Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and the Chinese Consul General Haiyang Feng welcomed the 350 guests from business, politics, administration and culture. Mayor Thomas Geisel: "Düsseldorf is the most important Chinese location in Germany and a hotspot for digitization in North Rhine-Westphalia. Here, German and Chinese companies have been jointly developing future technologies for more than ten years and successfully bringing them to market. The Chinese community in Düsseldorf continues to grow. With the opening of the first public German-Chinese day nursery last year, we further expanded the range of services for the Chinese community in Düsseldorf".
Economic and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart: "2019 is the year of the Earth Pig, which promises confidence and optimism. It is said that investments should be stepped up this year. We want to take this to heart and further expand our cooperation with China to our mutual advantage. And, of course, in 2019 we will again be making the case for investments by Chinese companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2018, we celebrated milestone anniversaries in North Rhine-Westphalia and our Chinese partner provinces. We will use 2019 to work on the implementation of joint projects that were initiated during my visit to China, among other things. I am looking forward to that." Chinese Consul General Haiyang Feng: "The fact that the state capital Düsseldorf and NRW.INVEST are once again jointly hosting the New Year's Reception for the Chinese community is living proof of the traditional welcome culture in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Chinese side greatly appreciates this and has a sincere desire to intensify cooperation together with North Rhine-Westphalia and Düsseldorf in the New Year, shoulder to shoulder for the benefit of both sides."
In the meantime, over 1,100 companies from "Greater China" have settled in North Rhine-Westphalia, 560 in the state capital alone. In 2018, NRW.INVEST located 72 investment projects by Chinese companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Düsseldorf, the work of the China Competence Center resulted in an increase of 40 Chinese companies.
One example is Sonoscape, a listed medical device manufacturer from Shenzhen, which opened a sales office with five employees in Düsseldorf. In addition, the Hong Kong-based company Wealthfields set up a German branch. In Willich, Wealthfields is building its European headquarters for the production and distribution of detergents, cleaning and body care products on an area of 16,000 square meters. Furthermore, a start-up and service center has recently opened in Kalkar to help young Chinese start-ups gain a foothold in Europe.
Review of 2018
The economic development agency of the state capital and the state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST are cooperating on many projects to strengthen the business location and attract Chinese companies. On 14 September, high-ranking representatives of business and politics from China and Germany discussed future topics such as digitization and Smart City at the "Business and Investors Forum China" in Düsseldorf.
The Düsseldorf China Dialogue was integrated into the event for the first time. Also with a new organizational structure, the China Festival took place in Düsseldorf on 15 September, for the first time as a joint event of the cities of Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne.
In September the first public German-Chinese kindergarten "Pandabären" was opened in Düsseldorf under the auspices of the Workers' Welfare Association (AWO) and in cooperation with the Hanyan School. It is further expanding its services for the growing Chinese community.
In October, Economic and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Pinkwart traveled with a delegation to China. The trip focused on the celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the partnerships with the North Rhine-Westphalian partner provinces of Jiangsu and Sichuan, company visits to Chinese investors and the topics Smart Mobility and Smart Cities.
A series of joint events in Düsseldorf and China will intensify contacts with Chinese companies and expand the network. This year's Düsseldorf China Dialog will take place on Tuesday, 7 May. The focus will be on sustainability.
The "Business and Investors Forum China" will take place on Thursday, 12 September in Cologne; bundled with the China Festival on the following weekend.