Hesse-Shanghai cooperation deepens relations with China

As well as with the capital Beijing, close links also exist with the 23 million metropolis of Shanghai. The Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum has been taking place every year since 2012, alternating between the cities of Shanghai and Frankfurt.

The first international Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum was staged in 2012 under the title “Financing of investment and trade – collaboration between banks and companies”. Around 200 visitors came together at the event. The Chinese participants expressed their approval about the outstanding infrastructure, the comprehensive range of business-related services, the number of highly skilled workers and the good educational facilities for Chinese children in the financial hub Frankfurt.

“Strengthening partnership and investment” was the title of the second Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum in 2013 in Shanghai. It focused on issues such as Frankfurt as a European centre for business transactions with the Chinese currency, the cooperation between the financial centres Shanghai and Frankfurt, and the financing of investment and trade in Germany and China.

The Chinese companies have a great interest in trading with and investing in the German federal state of Hesse. Many are looking for concrete discussions and financing partners for just that purpose. The Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum provides a good platform for such an exchange.

During the forum it once again became clear that Frankfurt’s development towards becoming the renminbi business centre for the euro area is moving forward rapidly. As early as 2012, Germany lay in first place in terms of cross-border renminbi payment transactions within Europe. If the Sino-German economic exchange increases from its figure of 130 billion euros in 2012 to 200 billion euros in 2015, as intended by the Chinese government, this position will be further enhanced. Many companies are making it clear that they want to use the renminbi (RMB) for their business transactions. The number of financial institutions in Germany that have traded in RMB increased from 17 to 62 within a year.

In China the development of an RMB Centre and a liberalised trade in goods and services is being particularly promoted in Shanghai. The establishment of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is seen as a rehearsal for a gradual opening of the markets in China. An agreement with the city of Shanghai aims to exploit the opportunities arising from this endeavour through a close cooperation between the financial and economic centres of Shanghai and Frankfurt.