North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, visited South Korea, Japan and China together with representatives from business and science. The aim is to expand cooperation in the growth markets of electromobility, energy storage and healthcare.
In Seoul an exchange took place with representatives of member companies of the Korean SME associations World Class 300 and High Potential Enterprise Association of Korea (AHPEK), as well as leading representatives of the national economic development and technology promotion institutes KITECH Korea Institute of Industrial Technology and KICOX Korea Industrial Complex Corporation.
At the start of the German-Japanese Smart Mobility Symposium in Tokyo, Pinkwart said that NRW wanted to become Europe's leading location for electromobility. "We are already Europe's largest manufacturer of electric vans," he emphasized. "The Japanese economy has been closely linked to North Rhine-Westphalia for many decades. We will continue to expand these relationships." Particularly in times of political unrest, it is clear how valuable these reliable, excellent contacts are for both sides. The minister's program for Japan included company visits and network meetings on topics such as smart mobility and energy storage, cooperation on climate-friendly drive units and batteries, and talks on free trade cooperation.
In China, the focus was not only on continuing and expanding the 30-year partnership with Jiangsu and Sichuan, but also on exchanging information on smart mobility and smart cities. "The topic of 'New Mobility' can become a focal point of cooperation with China. This applies, for example, to electric mobility and autonomous driving. With our cutting-edge research and the many automotive suppliers in North Rhine-Westphalia, we have the best prerequisites for this, and I am sure that both sides will benefit if we intensify our relations."