China Competence in Hessen

Ten years ago, two chambers of commerce and industry (IHK) of the German state of Hessen predicted extraordinary growth of their mostly small and medium-sized member enterprises’ China business. This would mean a growing demand for China specific services from the IHK. These two were the chambers of Frankfurt and of Darmstadt, and they decided to jointly establish a “China Competence Center” (CCC). They celebrated the 10th CCC anniversary on 27 November 2017 at IHK Darmstadt, reviewing quite a success story.

Sonja Mueller, general manager of CCC, and the chambers’ department heads of international affairs Martin Proba (Darmstadt) and Dr. Juergen Ratzinger (Frankfurt) confirmed the great acceptance of this service with regional small and medium-sized enterprises, even beyond Hessen. In just one decade, the CCC assisted 770 Chinese enterprises to settle down in the Rhine-Main Area. It received more than 100 Chinese delegations, organized 150 major events, answered 4,400 enquiries and published 40 articles.

Beijing correspondent Stephan Scheuer of the German “Handelsblatt” business daily described in his keynote speech some of the latest developments in China. He pointed out that some sectors were given priority and special support in Xi Jinping’s development strategy, opening new opportunities for German companies. “In some other sectors, however, China is already much ahead of Germany and even of Silicon Valley, such as digitalization and online services,” said Scheuer.

Sonja Mueller presented examples of good cooperation between Hessen and China in a panel discussion with regional business people and sports celebrities.

More info and image source: Deutsch-chinesische Allgemeine (in German).

Hessen ranks fourth in GDP among the German laender, and is positioned at the 4×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 269.4 billion € and a share of 8.6 percent of the German total. Its GDP was higher than that of Israel and Hong Kong, but slightly lower than that of Egypt.

Vocational Education Alliance

On 21 October 2017, organisations and enterprises of vocational education formally established a “Sino-German Alliance on Dual Vocational Education” in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. Different from already existing bilateral VET associations, the new alliance will, according to its Chinese name, focus on the cooperation between enterprises and schools, and thus focus on truly “dual” vocational education.

The alliance was founded at the “International Summit for Vocational Education”, which was part of Education Plus 2017, an exhibition organized by Messe Stuttgart Nanjing Ltd. During the constituting session, founding members adopted by-laws and unanimously elected their chairman, Simon Zhao. He is CEO of the National Center for Open  & Distance Education in Beijing.

Simon Zhao pointed out the significance of founding this alliance at this time, as China formulates new goals for its economic development. “At present, speeding up the development of modern vocational education is a major strategic plan that the country has made. The plan demands to shift gears in economic growth, and requires structural adjustments and the transformation of old into new kinetic energy. It is also an inevitable requirement of China to achieve the goal of becoming an innovation-oriented country and to strengthen its human resources.”

Linking the German “Industry 4.0” approach to the “Made in China 2025” objectives, he further explained the connotation of internationalization in vocational education and said, “We should strive to explore the road of international cooperation in running schools, focus on the needs of regional economic and social development, regard international standards, employ international teachers, apply international management, and so develop a highly competitive, highly skilled workforce.”

Mark Ma, Vice General Manager of Open Education, referred to a 2016 study which estimated the vocational education market volume of China at 600 billion RMB (about 78 billion Euro) and further growing.  “In this market, the new alliance aims at developing the cooperation of enterprises and schools in vocational education, supporting the implementation of the Sino-German vocational education strategy, and establishing a new and sustainable type of cooperation.”

The new alliance is a branch organisation of the “China External Cooperative Alliance of Vocational  Education” in Beijing.

Objectives

The alliance aims to

  • Establish a benchmark of vocational education in China by localizing German curricula into the Chinese system.
  • Explore methods of developing vocational talents that are highly demanded by industry.
  • Research German philosophy of skills transfer in vocational education.
  • Apply the German quality assurance mechanism in China.
  • Set up a Qualification Assessment Center based on German qualification standards.
  • Train teachers by working closely with member enterprises and schools.
  • Develop a significant number of senior managers to apply German learning techniques in Chinese colleges.
  • Reduce the gap between vocational college graduates and industry needs.
  • Provide German employers in China with qualified workers.

For more details on the assocation, contact liw@mail.open.com.cn.

For more details on the exhibition Education Plus, see our related article.

Image source: National Center for Open and Distance Education (OPEN)

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

 

Financial Center Hessen

Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank and the German Bundesbank. It is the location of a major stock exchange in Europe. Frankfurt is not the capital, but the largest city in the state of Hessen, which has distinguished itself as an attractive location for foreign direct investment.

No other German territorial state receives as much foreign investment relative to the number of jobs. Hessen is one of Germany’s and Europe’s most attractive locations for international investors.

The federal state has used Hessen’s central location in Germany to build a transportation infrastructure that is unparalleled in Europe. The Rhine-Main area in particular occupies a top position in Europe for its status as an international hub for air, road and rail traffic.

For more information, try https://english.hessen.de/economy.

Hessen ranks fourth in GDP among the German laender, and is positioned at the 4×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 269.4 billion € and a share of 8.6 percent of the German total. Its GDP was higher than that of Israel and Hong Kong, but slightly lower than that of Egypt.

 

OPEN Delegation @ Dual University of Baden-Wuerttemberg

A delegation of the Chinese National Center for Open and Distance Education visited the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Dual University DHBW) in Stuttgart on 28 June 2017. Prof. Harald Stuhler received the group, head of vehicle systems engineering studies at DHBW.

With 3.5 million registered students, the National Center for Open and Distance Education is one of the largest education institutions worldwide. It is specialized on online education and is cooperating with all notable universities of China. The Center is a joint venture of the electronics giant TCL with the Chinese Ministry of Education. The Center has recently started to establish a vocational education programme similar to the German dual system through its subsidiary I-Vocedu.

Simon Zhao, CEO of Open Education, headed the delegation. Other members were Wu Shujun, Director of the Vocational Education Center, Mark Ma, Vice General Manager, and Tina Jin, Vice President of Shenzhen TCL Education Technology Co., Ltd.

The visit to Germany was organized by the former China Project Director of BMW AG, Klaus-Juergen Brix, who is now advisor of I-Vocedu in Shenzhen. Further participants were Oliver Schindler, CEO of ITW Schindler GmbH, and the former programme director of GIZ in China, Helmut Schoenleber.

Baden-Wuerttemberg ranks third among German states, placing it at the 4×3 field of the G8x8 chess board. Its GDP of 476.8 billion € contributed 15.2 percent to the German total. 

 

30 Years of Shandong – Bayern

Shandong and Bavaria have been sister province and state for 30 years and achieved good results in various fields. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of their sister relations, minister-president of Bayern (Bavaria) Horst Seehofer visited the provincial capital Jinan. He met the provincial party secretary Liu Jiayi on 11 May 2017.

Liu welcomed the visit of Seehofer and his delegation. He said Shandong is a leading province in economy, culture and resources in China. Now it is stepping up efforts to transfer the old energy into the new one. Furthermore, it promotes supply-side structural reform to realize economic transformation and development. Bavaria is an economic powerhouse of Germany, also a highland of research and technology. So there is great potential for cooperation between the territories.

“I hope this anniversary will be a new start for both sides. We should deepen strategic cooperation, broaden investment scale and cooperative areas and strengthen project docking. This way we will achieve a win-win cooperation,” said Liu Jiayi.

“Both our economies are vigorous,” said Seehofer. “What impressed me deeply is the love of the people here for their homeland.” Seehofer said he wishes the final implementation of the cooperative projects and more substantial cooperative fruits to benefit the two peoples.

According to both sides, the meeting was productive. They achieved good progress in the cooperation, docking Germany’s “Industry 4.0” and China’s “Made in China 2025”.

The Speaker of Bavarian State Parliament Barbara Stamm and Shandong leaders Yu Xiaoming and Wang Shujian attended the meeting.

History of the Partnership

In 1985, then minister-president of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauss led a business delegation to Shandong. This marked a prelude to the friendly relationship between the two territories. Then vice governor Ma Shizhong and Strauss signed a joint declaration on developing sister province-state relations on 9 July 1987. They opened a new chapter of friendly exchange and cooperation between the two sides. In 2010, Shandong party chief Jiang Yikang and minister-president Seehofer signed an agreement on establishing a strategic partnership in Munich. This lifted the relation between the two parties to a new level.

By 2014, they developed a number of sister city and cooperative relations even between TV stations. They set up economic and trade representative offices in each other’s province and state. The Provincial People’s Congress signed an agreement with the State Parliament on a fixed exchange relation. Various branches of the government established relations and developed fruitful cooperation and exchanges in all fields.

Previous provincial leaders, including Liang Buting, Zhao Zhihao, and Jiang Chunyun, have led delegations to visit Bavaria. Franz Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoiber have visited Shandong in 1985, 1995 and 2003 successively. The precious two speakers of the State Parliament John Paume and Alos Guleck have also paid a visit to their partner province in 2000 and 2008. Horst Seehofer visited in April 2010.

Bavaria is one of the most powerful regions in economy that shares sister province-state relations with Shandong. Both sides valued the economic and trade cooperation at the beginning of their relationship. The Free State, largest and second populous in Germany, is source of one third of total German investment in Shandong. Bavaria has invested over 20 projects in the province, involving about one billion dollars as foreign capital.

Projects

The Bavarian state government provided great support by training 1200 talents in railway, aviation, finance, telecom, communication, and metereology. It also helped to complete these joint projects:

  • Beer Technical Center established at Shandong Polytechnic University
  • Telecom Technical Center established at Shandong Telecommunication School
  • Land Consolidation Village Renewal Project of Zhanglou Village in Qingzhou City completed in 1988
  • Weichai Vocational Training Center built in Weifang City in 1989
  • Dual System Agricultural Vocational Education Center built in Pingdu City in 1990
  • Vocational Teacher Training Center built in Qingzhou City in 1998
  • Sino-German Rural Development Research Center jointly established in 2003

All this could not be completed without the support and participation of various Bavaria partners:

  • Ministry of the Interior
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
  • Dillingen Academy for Teacher Training
  • Hanns Seidel Foundation

The Bavarian state government invested over 10 million € for the construction of these projects. It also dispatched long-term and short-term experts, over 100 people in total.

The province and the free state achieved remarkable results in higher education. A number of universities established friendly interschool exchange relations. They conducted fruitful exchanges and activities.

The Shandong-Bavaria Educational Cooperation Programme Commission plays an important role in the educational cooperation between both sides. The  partners established this commission in 1993. In 2007, they even founded the Sino-German Center for Cooperation of Universities for the further all-around cooperation of universities of Shandong and Bavaria.

Image © dpa / Sven Hoppe. Information Source: www.shandong-bayern.com

Both Shandong and Bayern (Bavaria) belong to the G8x8, the most productive places on earth. Shandong ranks third among Chinese provinces, taking the 2×3 spot on the chessboard, and contributes 8.7 percent to the national GDP. Bayern ranks second among the German laender, is located on field 4×2, and produced 18.1 percent of the German GDP.

 

G7 Summit at Bayern Schloss Elmau

The 41st G7 summit was held in Schloss Elmau, Bayern (Bavaria), Germany on 7 and 8 June 2015. The Leaders’ Declaration may be found at https://www.g7germany.de/.

Group photo of the G7:

  • Tusk (European Council President),
  • Abe (Japan),
  • Harper (Canada),
  • Obama (USA),
  • Merkel (Germany),
  • Hollande (France),
  • Cameron (UK),
  • Renzi (Italy) and
  • Juncker (European Commission).

Image Source: Bundesregierung/Gottschalk.

Bayern ranks second in GDP among the German states (Bundeslaender), placing it on the 4.2 field of the G8x8 chess board. Its 2016 GDP of 568.0 billion € was equivalent to 18.1 percent of the German total. This was more than the national GDP of Argentina or Sweden. 

 

Silk Road to NRW

Sichuan party secretary Wang Dongming and Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) minister president Hannelore Kraft participated in the official inauguration of a new NRW China Project Office in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. NRW economics minister Garrelt Duin pointed out that China is currently one of the leading investors worldwide, and that Chinese enterprises get more and more engaged in Europe. In foreign direct investment of Chinese enterprises, NRW ranks first among the 16 German laender. “Sichuan is our partner province and one of the most important locations for hi-tech, chemicals, and logistics in China,” said Duin. “Meanwhile, NRW is now the most desired location in Germany and a bridge to Europe for Chinese enterprises. We hope to welcome even more companies in the future, especially from Sichuan province.”

According to Petra Wassner, CEO of the NRW investment promotion agency, more than 850 Chinese enterprises already set up branches there. “This includes well-known corporations such as Donghua, Genertec, Hisense, Huawei, Lenovo, Lingyun, Minmetals, Sany, Shanggong, Wisco, and Wolong. Just last year, 79 firms from China newly established a business here.”

The Chengdu office aims at intensifying direct contacts with local associations, institutions, and the political community, in order to better inform them about the strength of NRW as a business location. It will provide individual services to potential investors of all sectors: market information, investment conditions, and practical assistance with setting up a business. Sichuan and NRW are directly connected by rail. This “New Silk Road” is a major part of China’s new long-term development strategy, also known as the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Sichuan ranks 6th in GDP among Chinese provinces and occupies the 2×6 field on the G8x8 chessboard. Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) ranks first in GDP among German states and occupies the 4×1 field on the board. Sichuan contributed 4.2 percent to the national GDP of China, NRW contributed 21.4 percent to the national GDP of Germany. To compare province and state with countries, Sichuan exceeded Thailand (world GDP rank 26), NRW exceeded Switzerland (20) and Saudi-Arabia (21).