North Rhine-Westphalia opens foreign branch in the Chinese province of Sichuan
At the end of April, NRW Premier Hannelore Kraft and NRW Minister of Economics, Garrelt Duin, travelled to the Peoples’ Republic of China, accompanied by a 40-member trade delegation. There, the parties inaugurated the new NRW.INVEST foreign branch in Chengdu.
One focus of the trip was the closer economic cooperation with the Sichuan partner province in Western China, which is directly connected with North Rhine-Westphalia through a railway connection, the so-called “New Silk Route”. For Chinese companies, North Rhine-Westphalia is now one of the most popular locations in Germany and a bridge to Europe. China considers NRW as being the ideal partner for an innovative and modernizing cooperation, which was offered by State President Xi Jinping during his visit to Düsseldorf in 2014.
North Rhine-Westphalia already runs foreign branches in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai as well as in Guangzhou. With the new branch in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, NRW.INVEST intensifies direct contacts to associations, institutions, chambers and politics in order to provide them with information on the advantages of the business location. “Within the last few years, our partner province of Sichuan has developed into an important location for high tech, chemistry and logistics in China. I am very pleased that North Rhine-Westphalia is now represented by an office in this region,“ says Economics Minister Garrelt Duin in the presence of the Vice President of the Chinese People’s Congress Peng Yu. In Sichuan, he and Premier Kraft attended an investors’ conference with representatives from – among others – the Pangang Group, the Xinzhu Corporation and Sichuan Provincial Investment Promotion Bureau.
Moreover, Kraft and Duin sealed, together with the province’s government, the establishment of a new “NRW Center”. The center, which is planned to cover more than 200,000 square meters, will be built in a new zone in nearby Chengdu. By 2030, the “Tianfu New Area” (“Heavenly home”) will be home to about six million people. Architects and building suppliers from North Rhine-Westphalia are already involved in the construction of the building complex. After its completion, the NRW Center will serve as a location for companies, especially those from NRW.
One further stop during their travel led the Premier to the capital Bejing where she – among others – talked to the Vice Minister President Wang Yang. Within the framework of an investors’ roundtable, she also met board members of respected Chinese companies which have already established themselves in NRW. In Nanjing and Kunshan, in the NRW partner province Jiangsu, Premier Kraft opened a conference on the subject of “Industry 4.0” as well as the offices of several medium-sized automotive suppliers in a start-up center. The final stage of the journey was spent in conversation with the Huawei telecommunications provider as well as visiting their headquarters in Shenzhen.