“Hamburg Summit 2014”: the major Sino-European economic conference begins this Friday in Hamburg

“Hamburg Summit 2014”: the major Sino-European economic conference begins this Friday in Hamburg

Taking place on 10 and 11 October 2014 at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, this year’s “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe” especially stands out for its high-ranking participants: China’s premier Li Keqiang will be meeting leading EU officials and will be holding the main keynote speech at this major Sino-European economic summit. With the Hamburg Summit, the city is consolidating its position as China’s gateway to European trade.

In recent years, the Hamburg Summit, which is organised by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, has developed into a key economic conference for Sino-European affairs. In addition to speeches being held by renowned stakeholders from the realms of politics and business, the Hamburg Summit will also host several expert panels on specific issues. The “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe” aims to provide a platform for nonpartisan liaison between China and Europe and thereby strengthen relations between these two world regions. At the same time, the summit will provide around 600 business leaders from both Europe and China with the opportunity to get first-hand insights into current developments and to expand their business Networks.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome Mr Li Keqiang to Hamburg. Following Wen Jiabao’s visit in 2006, this is going to be the second time that a Chinese premier will attend our conference in Hamburg,” says Fritz Horst Melsheimer, president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Mr Li Keqiang will be visiting Hamburg on 11 October to deliver his keynote speech. This demonstrates the relevance that the Chinese government attaches to Hamburg and this conference as a driving force for relations with China.

As well as the Chinese premier, speakers at this year’s conference will include Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, and Xavier Bettel, prime minister of Luxembourg. Mr Bettel will host an opening speech at the Hamburg Summit on 10 October. To conclude the first conference day, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht will deliver a keynote speech, followed by a plenary discussion on Sino-European trade relations.

Throughout the morning of 11 October 2014, Elmar Brok, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, and Jin Canrong, a renowned Chinese expert on international relations, will be discussing China’s role in today’s global political system. The conference’s closing lunch on Saturday will be attended by guest of honour, EP president Martin Schulz, among others. For further information on the Hamburg Summit and the conference programme, please visit www.hamburg-summit.com.

This year’s Hamburg Summit is taking place almost a year after the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced its reform decisions. Due to the large number of comprehensive reforms proposed, the Third Plenum has attracted a great deal of attention. This weekend’s summit will provide opportunities to draw first conclusions and to identify further challenges relating to China’s reform process. One of the objectives of these comprehensive reforms is to increase the economy’s sustainability and to create a stronger focus on domestic consumption. “This process also provides great opportunities for German businesses, especially in the areas of environmental protection, export trade, and logistics,” states Mr Melsheimer, the host of the Hamburg Summit.

Hamburg as a business location aims to attract further investments from China, and platforms such as the Hamburg Summit are placing Hamburg firmly on the investment map of major Chinese enterprises. The timing is perfect: according to the auditing firm Ernst & Young, investors from China (including Hong Kong) acquired 120 businesses and company shares in Europe in 2013 alone, and the transaction volume in Germany is expected to exceed the one-billion mark within the next three years. This development is particularly relevant for Hamburg with its large Chinese community and pronounced expertise on China.

Hamburg – China’s trading hub in Europe

Hamburg is China’s gateway to Europe. Today, more than 50 percent of German foreign trade with the People’s Republic of China is handled in the port of Hamburg. In 2013, the China-related volume of container transport amounted to 2.7 million container units (TEU), making up a good 30 percent of the total cargo handled at the port. This makes China the port of Hamburg’s number one foreign trade partner. More than 600 Hamburg businesses are engaged in trade with the People’s Republic and manage their China-related imports and exports through Hamburg. Hamburg serves as the host of two major China-related events, with both the Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe and the CHINA TIME event, which takes place in November. Moreover, Hamburg and the Chinese trading city of Shanghai have been partner cities since 1986 and maintain close economic, cultural and social ties.


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