Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder is to succeed Helmut Schmidt as Honorary Chairman of the “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe”. Schröder will open the conference on November 23, 2016 with a keynote speech on European-Chinese relations. Commenting on his new role, Schröder said: “It is an honour for me to succeed Helmut Schmidt as Honorary Chairman of the ‘Hamburg Summit’. This forum makes an important contribution towards expanding and deepening Chinese-German and Chinese-European relations. Both countries are linked by a decades-long, reliable partnership based on mutual respect.”
Tackling global challenges
German-Chinese economic relations have developed at breathtaking speed over the past decades. Since Schröder’s term as German chancellor, the greatest importance has been attached to relations with China. None of today’s global challenges can be overcome without Chinese participation. The nation is a key factor in global stability and achieving global fair trade, defining international, environmental standards and tackling social challenges such as demographic change. “The 'Hamburg Summit’ is an ideal forum for discussing these and other urgent, contemporary issues. It is my pleasure and duty to work on them,” said Schröder.
High-ranking representatives of politics and commerce
Commenting on the former German chancellor’s new role, Fritz Horst Melsheimer, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce President, said: “During his term of office and afterwards, Gerhard Schröder made an outstanding contribution to relations with the People’s Republic of China where he is highly respected.” Other guests at the conference include Liu Yandong, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China, as guest of honour and one of the main speakers. Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, will also attend as European guest of honour. Joschka Fischer, former German Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chancellor, as well as high-ranking representatives of politics and commerce in China and Europe are expected at the summit as well.
Improving economic relations
The “Hamburg Summit” was initiated and organised by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce for the first time in 2004 as a platform for an open dialogue between Europe and China to improve economic relations and mutual understanding. High-ranking speakers and participants hold talks on the future of the Chinese economy, China’s investments in Europe and current issues such as security in the internet of things.