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North Rhine-Westphalia and Düsseldorf remain top locations for Chinese direct investment despite pandemic

Digital New Year’s message replaces traditional Chinese New Year reception in the Year of the Ox

To mark the occasion of the Chinese New Year on February 12, Düsseldorf's Lord Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller, NRW's Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and the Chinese Consul General Haiyang Feng are addressing Chinese businesses and the Chinese community in Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia with a video greeting. Since the traditional New Year's reception for the Year of the Ox unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic, the organizers would like to convey their New Year's greetings at least digitally and to take stock. Also in the crisis year 2020, it is still true: North Rhine-Westphalia and Düsseldorf are hotspots for companies from Greater China with numerous investment projects.

Mayor Keller: "The Chinese companies felt the consequences of the pandemic much earlier than their German business partners. I am very pleased that they realized impressive projects in Düsseldorf despite the difficult situation last year. Huawei, together with Digi.Hub Düsseldorf/Rheinland, China-Kompetenzzentrum Düsseldorf and Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH, organized Europe's first 5G AR Hackathon. The three smartphone manufacturers OPPO, VIVO and Xiaomi invested heavily in building their teams and activities."

In addition, there were a number of important new settlements of Chinese companies: TP Link launched a new logistics center in the middle of the first lockdown, supplying routers to all of Europe from Düsseldorf. Tunnel boring machine manufacturer CREG TBM moved to Düsseldorf and the world's leading aluminum and textile manufacturer Shandong Weiqiao opened its first German branch in Düsseldorf.

In times of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry has also seen a number of pioneering settlements by Chinese investors. Wuxi Biologics, for example, now produces active ingredients for COVID-19 vaccines at two sites in North Rhine-Westphalia – Leverkusen and Wuppertal. And DG Servicebio set up business in Duisburg with 25 jobs; the company sells consumables for laboratories on a wholesale basis. Long-standing existing companies are also growing: Construction equipment manufacturer SANY expanded the workforce at its European headquarters in Bedburg by 70 employees due to new orders coming from Eastern Europe.

"The partnership relations between North Rhine-Westphalia and China are based on a long-standing tradition: For more than 30 years, we have maintained a close exchange with our three Chinese partner provinces in Jiangsu, Shanxi and Sichuan. This cultural and economic integration is having an impact: North Rhine-Westphalia is by far the most important investment location for Chinese companies in Germany. We would like to continue this successful partnership this year," says Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

"The Corona pandemic has not prevented China and North Rhine-Westphalia, or Düsseldorf, from raising cooperation to a higher level for mutual benefit. In the fight against the pandemic, the cooperation between China and Düsseldorf has proved to be very helpful and has continued to make great progress. The new settlements of Chinese companies are due, on the one hand, to the great attraction of Düsseldorf and NRW. On the other hand, the companies profit from the fact that relations between China, NRW and Düsseldorf have intensified significantly in recent years as a result of our joint efforts. At this point, I would like to draw attention to the activities of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Düsseldorf Economic Development Office and NRW.Global Business, which we greatly appreciate," says Chinese Consul General Haiyang Feng, highlighting the positive development of the cooperation.

More than 1,200 companies from Greater China have now settled in North Rhine-Westphalia, including 610 in the state capital. In 2020, there were a total of 80 new settlement and expansion projects by companies from Greater China in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Düsseldorf, the work of the China Competence Center has resulted in the settlement of 38 Chinese companies and 19 start-ups from the Chinese community. Today, a total of around 6,200 Chinese live in Düsseldorf, and there are more than 37,000 in the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The video with the greetings messages can be viewed at www.neujahrsgruss-china.de.