Sino-German Mittelstands Dialogue 2016

Sino-German Mittelstands Dialogue 2016

The first Sino-German Mittelstands Dialogue will take place on 17-19 September 2016 in Baden-Württemberg

The focus of the three-day event will be the Metal Eco City. The Mittelstands dialogue gives German and Chinese companies a platform for common discussions, visions and ways of cooperating.

The Mittelstands dialogue is the German equivalent of the “German-Chinese SME conference”, which took place in Jieyang for the first time in 2015: approximately 1000 representatives of Chinese companies, politicians and organisations took part in the conference, as well as around 100 delegates from Germany. More than 122 foreign institutions and companies from Germany, Austria and Spain as well as 132 Chinese companies came together for discussions. 105 technological innovations from 38 German companies were showcased, and 24 cooperation agreements and 27 memoranda were signed.

The second German-Chinese SME conference is expected to take place in November 2016 in Jieyang once again.

The underlying project

. JieyangThe Sino-German Metal Eco City (MEC) is an innovative industrial park, which will open up access to the Chinese market for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The MEC is located in the north of the large metropolis of Jieyang, at the heart of the southern province of Guangdong – only a one-hour flight away from Hong Kong. It extends over an area of 25 square kilometres. The volume of investment amounts to over EUR 21 billion.

By 2020, the MEC should be in a position to employ approximately 100000 people. This German/Chinese industrial park is a pilot project for modern urbanisation, which integrates the world of work and private life in an innovative way, thus serving as a model for the whole of China. The MEC is the first large industrial settlement project in China to be initiated by Chinese entrepreneurs and supported by the Party and the government in Peking. At the end of 2012, China and Germany worked together to launch the prototype for an innovative industrial park.

The MEC will include a metal manufacturing centre, a technological innovation centre, a conference centre, a university of applied sciences, a hotel for professionals, residential areas, an e-commerce industrial park, a nature park, a resource recycling centre and a financial centre.

Six service platforms are included in the Metal Eco City concept:

» for the trading of a wide variety of products

» for technological innovation and industrial design

» for manufacturing metal products and mechanical engineering

» for resource recycling

» for a workforce and specialist staff within the metal industry

» for the provision of finance to the metal industry


Jieyang is located in the expansion zone encircling the “Pearl River Delta Economic Zone” – the most dynamic economic region in China. Jieyang is a transport hub for East Guangdong, South Fujian and other Chinese cities.

Airports: There are three new international flight routes to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf from Jieyang via Peking. Hong Kong is one hour away by plane. The nearest international airport, Chaoshan airport, is just ten kilometres away from the MEC.

Expressways: Several expressways form a compact network of connections: the ShanKun Expressway, the Jiepu Expressway, the Chaohui Expressway and the Shanjiemei Expressway. The industrial park itself is accessible via three main roads: the Sino-German-Strasse, the Perlenfluss-Strasse und the Rhein-Strasse.

Rail: The MEC offers a flexible railway connection network, with links to several railway lines and fast trains. The nearest train station, Chaoshan station, is only 15 kilometres away from the MEC. The MEC will have its own special freight train station.

Shipping: The city of Jieyang’s Shengquan sea port and the Rongjiang sea port provide a direct connection to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Zhanjiang and other ports.

Numerous cooperation partners are working together to ensure Metal Eco City’s success, be it in research, planning or training. These include:

–        The Fraunhofer Institute of Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK) of Berlin, which is advising on the establishment of an institute for applied research and development in the metalwork industry. This institute will be a partner for local companies, supporting them in their technical regeneration. By 2020, the city of Jieyang will have established the “German-Chinese Institute of Technology Transfer” (IFT), in collaboration with the Fraunhofer IPK.

–        WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH (the operating company of the Berlin Adlershof Science and Technology Park) is advising the MEC on design, construction and management. It will be providing support in matters of urban construction, promotion of innovations and issues relating to finance and management. In conjunction with ZhongDe Metal Group, WISTA MANAGEMENT GMBH is setting up the founders’ centre, the “Sino-German Innovation Incubator”.

–        Esslingen University of Applied Sciences is establishing a University of Applied Sciences within the MEC in cooperation with the Technical University of Guangdong. The basis for this will be the German dual education system. By 2023, the “Esslingen-Guangdong University of Applied Sciences” will have provided education to a total of 16,000 students.

–        The Maritim Group is developing an exclusive residential area with 200 exclusive villas and a 455-room five-star hotel.

–        A strategic cooperation was also agreed with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and with the German Chamber of Foreign Trade for China (AHK China).

–        Cooperation agreements were signed with more than 20 industrial associations in Europe.

An innovation partnership between Germany and China

Flexibility, innovation, quality and perfection – German SMEs are known as a premium brand across the world. German SMEs have quite a bit to offer China in terms of its industrial transformation. Conversely, the Chinese market is opening up a unique opportunity particularly for German SMEs, meaning that it’s a win-win situation for both parties. China’s ideal partner for the industry of the future is Germany.

In 2014, Germany and China agreed upon an innovation partnership. Within the scope of this partnership, German and Chinese companies are able to work together in certain fields to develop new products and future-oriented technologies as part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs’ “Industry 4.0” and the Chinese initiative “Made in China 2025”. In the MEC, Chinese family businesses cooperate with SMEs from Germany. In Jieyang, confidence, reliability and individuality form the foundation of the German-Chinese partnership. Whereas the Northern Chinese market has already been largely tapped into by foreign companies over the course of the last few decades, southern China still represents an area of potential which has not yet been exhausted. More than 100 million people live in the Guangdong province alone.

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