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Premier’s visit to bring new opportunities for Sino-European co-op

Updated: Oct 7,2014 4:53 PM     Xinhua

BERLIN -- Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Germany will bring new momentum and business opportunities for Sino-European cooperation, a German business leader said on Oct 6.

During his visit, Li will attend the sixth meeting of the biennial Hamburg Summit scheduled on Oct 10-11 to expound China’s view on China-Europe relations and their development direction.

Over 500 political and business leaders, including a 70-plus Chinese delegation, will attend the summit, the biggest Sino-European business meeting.

In an interview with Xinhua ahead of the summit, Hans-Joerg Schmidt-Trenz, chief executive officer of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the importance of Li’s visit to Germany and Europe as a whole.

“We are sure that his visit will bring new opportunities for the cooperation between Europe and China, and give an important impetus to strengthening German and European engagement in China,” Schmidt-Trenz noted.

This year’s summit, entitled “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe” and hosted by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, takes place at a strategically important time, as relations between China and Europe are closer than ever, said Schmidt-Trenz.

Currently, more than 500 Chinese companies have settled their business and established their European headquarters in Hamburg, bringing rising direct investments, which are important not only for China but also for Europe and especially Hamburg, the 55-year-old German business leader said.

“They make an important contribution to the economy of our city. China’s investment in Europe and especially Germany serves as a key impetus to China-Europe economic and trade relations,” he said.

Schmidt-Trenz said China’s sound economic and political relations with Germany, the most powerful economy in Europe, are an engine for deepening its connections with Europe.

“This especially applies to ... the automobile industry and German industrial companies,” he said.

As for Li’s upcoming visit, Schmidt-Trenz said the Chinese leader is expected to give the German business circle “a detailed insight into his reform agenda for the coming years.”

“China has always been an important market for European companies. Its economic reform will bring new business opportunities to Europe and German enterprises,” he explained.

He said European companies are confident that the Chinese government is on the right path of further opening-up and economic reform, which would lead to an increase in foreign direct investments in China.

“I think there will be growth potential for both sides when China further opens up sectors such as the service industry, health care industry and financial services to foreign involvement,” he said. “This would also be highly interesting and important for European companies.”

He added that Hamburg is an ideal partner for China and can provide concrete support for China’s modernization with innovative ideas and sustainable strategies.

“Members of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce are hoping for a rapid implementation of the economic reforms announced by the Chinese government. Particularly in the rapidly growing service sector, there would be new business opportunities,” Schmidt-Trenz said.