30 Years of Shandong – Bayern

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 ctontributes 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.

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

California – Osaka Partnership

California and Osaka are both G8x8 territories. The former is ranking first in GDP among US states, placing it at the 1×1 pole position. Osaka ranks second among Japanese prefectures to take the 3×2 field on the board. In 2016, California took a share of 14.1% of the USA total GDP. This was worth $2.6 trillion US Dollars, just as much as the GDP of the United Kingdom (ranking 5th among countries). Osaka posted a GDP share of 7.3 percent of Japan’s national total.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. met with Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui in Sacramento, to sign a memorandum of understanding to further strengthen California’s relationship with its sister-state in Japan. The leaders discussed trade, investment, tourism and education and cultural exchanges between California and Osaka Prefecture. They also shared their commitment to combating climate change. Full text:

Memorandum of Understanding On Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation Between The State of California, United States of America And Osaka Prefecture, Japan

At the invitation of Mr. Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of California, Mr. Ichiro Matsui, Governor of Osaka Prefecture, led an official delegation to visit Sacramento, California on June 11, 2013. During this visit, Governor Matsui and Governor Brown held friendly talks and reviewed the cooperation between the two sides since the establishment of the sister-state relationship in 1994. Both agreed that Osaka Prefecture and California are economically complementary and that there exists significant potential to advance and strengthen economic and social ties.

California has the highest Gross State Product in the United States of America and is the ninth largest economy in the world. Osaka Prefecture has a population of 8.8 million and is the 29th largest economy in the world. Accordingly, both governments agree:

  1. To support and encourage economic and trade cooperation between California and Osaka Prefecture in the following key areas:
    • clean energy
    • environmental protection
    • information technology
    • bio-tech
    • manufacturing
    • tourism
  2. To support and encourage cooperation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting low carbon development.
  3. To support and encourage their people and governments to further develop interpersonal contacts and exchanges, and to promote mutual understanding and friendship.
  4. To promote exchange programs between universities and other educational institutions.
  5. That California will designate the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and that Osaka Prefecture will designate the International Affairs Division to coordinate trade and investment relations between Osaka Prefecture and California.

This Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Sacramento on June 11th, 2013 in the languages of English and Japanese in duplicate, each party holding one; both texts being equally authentic.

Information Source and Photo Credit: Justin Short, Office of the Governor.