Chinese and German enterprises and institutions have expanded their cooperation in innovation and strengthened integration since bilateral ties were elevated to an all-round strategic partnership during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Germany in early spring of 2014.
Their closer collaboration has not only injected new energy to their respective transformation and upgrade, but also benefited more countries.
Since its establishment in 2016, Huawei's Munich Openlab has held talks with 100 to 200 enterprises and launched cooperative projects with nearly 30 counterparts, including German software leader SAP, telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG, Intel and other German and transnational enterprises.
Chinese and German enterprises are highly complementary, with German enterprises having advantages in the manufacturing industry and Chinese communication companies having strengths in computer and information technology, said Tian Linyi, director of Huawei's Munich Openlab.
There are enormous small and medium-sized companies in Germany that are creating the largest number of jobs. With their markets largely limited within Europe, German enterprises are in need of such a company that has built partnerships around the world as Huawei, who is introducing its clients in the Arab world, Africa and other places to its German partners.
Since its establishment in June 2014 in Berlin, the European representative office of China’s State Grid, for instance, has established cooperation with more than 50 European research institutions and universities.
Lei Xianzhang, director general of the office, said that German companies and European research organizations are very interested in developing cooperation in innovation with Chinese companies, thanks to the Belt and Road initiative that has provided new opportunities for global cooperation on green development.
The main task of the office is to develop new energy-related key and cutting-edge technologies, tackle key problems together with European partners as well as offer technological support to green, sustainable and low-carbon development of China, the director added.
Chinese and German companies are also working together to tap third-party markets.
Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, is extremely water-starved. Short of a sound water supply system, the city’s pipelines urgently need repair. Renovating the KB feeder is the only way to relieve the shortage of drinking water, but the project had been postponed due to the lack of money.
Germany’s Newtec and Shanghai Machinery Complete Equipment Group Engineering Co Ltd reached an agreement to offer a $400 million log-term loan to the Pakistani city. The deal not only helps solve livelihood issues of local people but also enjoys a short payoff period.
With the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the establishment of mechanisms such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, more and more Chinese and German enterprises are exploring new opportunities in third-party markets based on pragmatic cooperation.
Besides, both sides are also coordinating ideas to address regional hotspot issues in places such as Afghanistan and promote development in Africa.
“Jointly developing Africa will not only drive China-Germany relations but also bring new opportunities for advancing China-Europe relations,” said Michael Schaefer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BMW Foundation, who is also a former German ambassador to China.