BASF-YPC president: Life in Nanjing is a wonderful journey
2018-12-05 11:07:00

(Photo by Yang Yizhe)

It was a drizzly morning on Dec. 3, when Uwe Kirchgaessner, president of BASF-YPC Company Limited, enjoys the beautiful landscape of Nanjing outside of his car window.

The No. 1 word for Nanjing: warm

With a Chinese name, Kang Zhijie, he first came to China in the spring of 1996, when he was assigned by BASF for some feasibility studies in Nanjing to establish a joint venture.

A trip from Germany to Nanjing needed transition in either Beijing or Hong Kong at that time, a quite tiring challenge for Kirchgaessner. Now, transportation has never been so easy. Nanjing opened a direct flight to Frankfurt in April 2008. Inside the city, Nanjing also opened the second, third, and fourth bridges across the Yangtze River in 2001, 2005 and 2012 respectively.“The development of this city is just amazing. In 1996 there was only one bridge over Yangtze River where we got stuck every morning on the way for meetings. Today, there are four bridges, two tunnels as well as three subway lines going across the Yangtze River. ”

When introducing Nanjing to friends, Kirchgaessner prefers the word “warm” as a recognition of the warmth and hospitality of Nanjing people as well as his sweet memory. when a snow storm hit Nanjing in late January this year, nearly 70,000 soldiers and civilians took to the streets to clear the snow overnight.

"I saw photos on the Internet and was really moved by their hard efforts against the chill." He said he often thinks about that heartwarming experience on his way to work.

Bright prospect for joint venture

Kirchgaessner has travelled a lot between Germany and Jiangsu for many years, and he has some deep feelings about the Chinese coastal province. In 2015, he was appointed as the new president of BASF-YPC Company Limited, located in Luhe District of Nanjing. With a total investment of $5.2 billion, the 50:50 joint venture between BASF and SINOPEC started commercial operation in June 2005.

(Photo/VCG)

In the 1990s, China accelerated the pace of reform and opening up. Joint ventures boomed everywhere in the country, and local companies were eager to be in line with international standards. BASF seized the opportunity to cooperate with SINOPEC in constructing its “Verbund” Petrochemical Site. As joint venture is a strong form of business partnership, today the company is regarded as a role model of successful Sino-German cooperation. BASF-YPC sells about 3 million tons of high-quality chemicals and polymers per year to cater to the rapidly growing Chinese market, covering almost every aspect of people's lives.

Kirchgaessner said that in recent years, China has developed into the most important chemical market in the world and will become even more important in the future.

Going green - Bike makes a comeback 

He also said Nanjing has made tremendous progress. In 1996, almost every family in the country had a black bicycle with 28-inch wheels. The bell on the handlebar sounded loud and clear and the size was usually bigger than what he saw in Germany. When he returned to Germany, he went to a Nanjing store and bought a bell as a gift.

(Photo/VCG)

Gradually, he found more and more private cars on the road, less and less bicycles in urban area. But in recent years, those easy-to-use, bright-colored public bicycles have been favored by young people. People in Nanjing are changing their transportation means. The use of subways and buses are on the rise amid the public’s better awareness of environmental protection. It is reported that Nanjing has the largest amount of public bicycles in China, with the two-wheeled vehicle service available at the main urban areas.

After living in Nanjing for three years, Kirchgaessner has adjusted so well to the city that he said “the days in Nanjing are a wonderful journey of my life.”

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Nicky
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