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China and NRW – shaping digital transformation together

At the Business and Investors Forum China 2017, representatives of large corporations and startups from China and Germany discussed the future potential of digitization. 

Together with Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH, GFW Duisburg economic development agency and the German-Chinese Business Association, NRW.INVEST organized the Business and Investors Forum China for the sixth time. More than 530 managers and experts from China and Germany came to Duisburg for this year's forum to exchange views on future topics of the digital economy. The forum is an important network meeting which offers investors the opportunity to initiate Sino-German projects .

In his welcoming address, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, NRW's Minister of Economic Affairs, emphasized: "Digitization, artificial intelligence, energy turnaround and new mobility concepts offer opportunities for the Chinese and North Rhine-Westphalian economies. Here we must continue to work together on innovative solutions to exploit the opportunities for global players, SMEs, startups and our universities."

In the keynote talk, Dr. Reinhold Achatz, head of technology at thyssenkrupp AG, reported on the role of Industry 4.0 in the company's development from steel giant to international technology group. In addition, Hong Yang, Managing Director of Minmetals Germany GmbH, Toni Cheng, Managing Director of Sengled GmbH, and Dr. Julian Bosch, Managing Director of Intrapore GmbH, discussed innovative approaches to energy and resource efficiency. Alexander Jobst, Marketing Director of FC Schalke 04, and Niklas Friederichsen, Head of Product and Sales at Mapudo GmbH, also held a panel discussion focusing on digital trading processes.

There is a good reason why the Business and Investors Forum was held in Duisburg for the second time: With more than five million people, the Ruhr Metropolis is an important market and leading logistics hot spot for China. "The interest of Chinese investors in the location remains unbroken. North Rhine-Westphalia is valued both as an innovative future location and as a logistics hub in Europe. In 2016 alone, 96 new companies from China came to NRW," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW. INVEST.