Visit to China with Chancellor

Arndt Kirchhoff accompanies Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on her China trip.

Questions to Arndt G. Kirchhoff, CEO of KIRCHHOFF Holding:
What was your role in the Chancellor’s delegation to China?
I am a member of the German-Chinese Business Advisory Committee that meets once a year under the leadership of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Le Keqiang. This committee deals with all issues relating to trade, industry and retail with the aim of improving the cooperation between the countries and applying market economy rules whilst on the other hand showing problems and hindrances in a solution-led manner.

In detail, this concerns fair trade, common standards on environmental and security technology, joint research, joint projects relating to digitalisation, tender assignment issues etc.

The German participants included the head of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, the new head of VW, Matthias Müller, the chair of the Asia-Pacific Committee and head of Voith, Dr. Lienhard, BDI president Ulrich Grillo, Dr. Axel Schweizer, chair of the management board at ALBA Group Berlin, and the head of Bombardier, Dr. Bertling.

Questions are brought up and issues discussed in the committee concerning where we, as business representatives, expect government support.

Was the trip successful?

The relationships between China and Germany are improving all the time. Germany has offered to contribute its experience from structural change in the Ruhr area and building up East Germany after the Wall came down to the future restructuring projects in the steel, coal and power plant industry as well as environmental matters.

China proposed jointly opening up third-party markets, i.e. other countries, for example to build up African industry with German and Chinese expertise.

China also wants Germany to improve the welcome for Chinese companies and provide support for them to get established in Germany or when taking over companies.

In addition, cultural exchange between the countries plays an important role.

In summary, we can say that the mutual visits between the heads of state and government consultations involving business that have taken place regularly for years have led to Germany becoming China’s top industrial partner in the world. This also benefits our global company, which currently has three locations in China.

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