Johannes Regenbrecht: Jiangsu has seen significant development over 40 years
2018-08-25 09:48:00

Johannes Regenbrecht, acting Minister of German Embassy in China, studied Chinese for two months in Nanjing in 2016. Like everyone else, Regenbrecht visited the city’s top tourist attractions including the Nanjing Museum, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Presidential Palace. However, what impressed him most was the warm-hearted and friendly locals, such as the family providing him accommodation and the Chinese teacher. He said that he met many friends and felt gratitude to everyone during his stay in Nanjing.

Jianghai Wood Industry Co., Ltd., the first foreign-invested enterprise in Jiangsu Province, was founded in Wuxi City in 1981. This marked the start of foreign companies, including those from Germany, to seek business opportunities in the eastern Chinese province. In 1985, a German company established a subsidiary called Nanjing Suwei Co., Ltd., mainly engaged in the manufacture of foam plastics. Then during the early 1990s, many German companies, such as BSH Home Appliances Group and Phoenix Contact, flocked to invest in Jiangsu. Today, North Rhine-Westphalia, a western German state, has over 600 companies in Jiangsu, accounting for 30 percent of the German enterprises in the province. The Sino-German Cooperation Innovation Park located in Taicang City is home to over 300 German enterprises with an annual industrial output value of more than 50 billion yuan, earning the park the name of ‘hometown of German firms.’

As one of Jiangsu's closest partners in EU, Germany is a source of technology introduction and actual investment into the province. Regenbrecht said that the Yangtze River Economic Belt where Jiangsu is located is very important and a fertile land for Germany’s industry because the area has a high degree of openness to the outside world, a strong industrial base, a sound industrial chain and a good investment environment.

Regenbrecht stated that, while Industry 4.0 is the focus of Germany's current industrial development, Jiangsu's innovation efforts are providing a guideline and practical solutions for industrial development. Jiangsu will be a convergence of future industries, and Germany and China must expand cooperation, such as building an intelligent factory in Jiangsu, according to Regenbrecht.

Regenbrecht also believed that the two countries can learn from each other, with German companies learning about how to be flexible under the new economic opportunities from Chinese counterparts and Chinese companies learning about being precise and patient in solving problems from German companies.

He also said he hopes German and Chinese companies can complement each other with their own advantages, especially in innovation-driven fields and intelligent driving.

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