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Is China a rival or co-operating partner?

China's innovation offensive holds business opportunities for Hamburg's firms. Key issue at upcoming "Hamburg Summit"

China’s innovative power holds both chances and opportunities for Hamburg’s economy, an event called, “Is Germany missing China’s innovation offensive?”, concluded Monday in the Chamber of Commerce. Achim Kempe, Managing Director of NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH, said: “Germany is an established place of research and development. Hamburg could benefit from more innovation in China by using the potential of our technology thereby developing our world.”

Competitor on an equal footing

Last week, Dutch chip producer NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced an agreement to sell its Standard Products business plant in Hamburg-Loktsted to a consortium consisting of Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co. Ltd and Wise Road Capital Ltd for a proposed USD2.75 billion. NXP would then focus on high-end products. China seeks to increase its innovative power and digitalisation of industry with the “Made in China 2025“ strategy. Speaking during the event organised by MERICS, the Chamber of Commerce and the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (Ostasiatischer Verein e.V.), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Heilmann, Director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), said: “If China manages to implement this strategy, then the country would be a rival for Germany on an equal footing in the high-tech sector.”

Connecting strategies

The Chinese president’s “New Silk Road” initiative, growing internationalisation of the Chinese currency, investment flows between the EU and China as well as digitalisation in economies in Europe and China will be the main topics during discussions and keynote talks at the upcoming “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe“ in the Chamber of Commerce from September 14-16, 2016. New opportunities in research and development are opening up and will be one of hot topics on the agenda. Prof. Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “If the German Industry 4.0 model can be paired with the ‘Made in China’ strategy, that would be a big step towards German-Chinese business ties.”

Sources and further information:

China is most important market for industry in port of Hamburg

China is by far the most important trade partner with a 29 per cent share of total container handling in the port of Hamburg. In terms of German foreign trade with China, Hamburg is the leading reloading point with a 50 per cent share of the imported and exported tonnage. Container traffic between China and Hamburg came to 651,000 TEU (20 foot standard container) in the first quarter of 2016 – an increase of 10 percentage points over the previous quarter.
Source: Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V. June 2016

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