German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is among high-profile guests at the two-day “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe” beginning this Wednesday (November 23-24, 2016) in the Chamber of Commerce. Earlier, Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg will meet Liu Yandong, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China, for talks in City Hall. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Honorary Chairman, will open the summit. Joschka Fischer, former German Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chancellor, and Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission are among European honorary guests due to give keynote speeches at the close of the summit. Many key Chinese figures are also expected.
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.
China holds many investment opportunities
“The Chinese economy is undergoing wide-sweeping transformation. German and European firms should keep an eye on the reforms. The Chinese economy has gone from boom to the ‘new normal’ meaning the era of two-digit growth rates is over,” Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, Managing Director of the Chamber of Commerce told Hamburg News in an interview. Yet the Middle Kingdom still has a solid growth path to show with 7 per cent growth rates. Thus, China holds many export and investment opportunities for firms in Hamburg.
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. More than 520 Chinese firms have branches in Hamburg making the city a key European centre of trade with the country.