Across China: German delegation visits China to celebrate friendship, facilitate cooperation-Xinhua

Across China: German delegation visits China to celebrate friendship, facilitate cooperation

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-30 23:04:00

HEFEI/SHANGHAI, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The German state of Lower Saxony is very interested in expanding economic relations with China and expects to strengthen cooperation in various fields, said minister president of the state, Stefan Weil, during his ongoing visit to China.

Weil, who heads a delegation of over 60 people from Lower Saxony, arrived in China earlier this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sister-state relationship with the eastern Anhui Province. This partnership was among the earliest established between a German state and a Chinese province.

On Wednesday, the delegation attended a celebration ceremony in Hefei, provincial capital of Anhui, joined by over 100 people including local officials and business representatives from about 170 local companies.

Germany and China are both known for their strong industrial base and high levels of innovation, said Weil in his speech at the ceremony. He also noted a shared responsibility for jointly combating climate change for the planet's future.

Lower Saxony, home to the headquarters of German automaker Volkswagen Group, has established a comprehensive value chain in Hefei stretching from R&D and production to sales and services.

Juergen Hasenpusch, chief finance officer for Volkswagen Anhui, said at the ceremony that the support from Anhui and cooperation between Lower Saxony and Anhui have contributed significantly to the company's rapid and successful local development.

Hasenpusch applauded China's rapidly growing automotive industry, especially the NEV sector, saying that despite fierce competition, it has provided the German carmaker with more opportunities and set higher standards.

Last October, the European Union launched an anti-subsidy investigation into the imports of battery electric vehicles from China. As a tariff decision is pending, Weil told Xinhua that many in business and political circles in Germany are skeptical about tariffs, and instead favor fair international competition over protectionism.

Before arriving in Hefei, the delegation, comprising more than 40 German company representatives, spent two days in Shanghai. Weil emphasized the strong economic ties between his state and Shanghai, noting that around 500 companies from Lower Saxony are active in the city.

Among these is SAP, a leading IT company whose Shanghai office the delegation visited on Tuesday. Weil said the company is making great efforts in artificial intelligence (AI), adding that AI "is certainly a topic that will shape further developments in both China and Germany."

The delegation also visited the Shanghai-headquartered Chinese shipping giant COSCO Shipping Group. Weil noted that, given Lower Saxony hosts Germany's only deep-water port, the JadeWeserPort, there are abundant opportunities for cooperation with COSCO.

Weil recalled his first visit to Shanghai in 2010 during the World Expo. He believes Shanghai, which has grown into a global metropolis, reflects China's rapid economic development in the past decade or so.

He also said that he would discuss with his colleagues back home how to better utilize the platform offered by the China International Import Expo, which has been held in Shanghai for six years, to introduce more German products to China.