During the 2023 “two sessions,” China’s biggest annual political event, which refer to the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), there was significant global attention on Beijing, focusing on China’s socioeconomic achievements and development blueprint. Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies (ACCWS), a think tank affiliated to the China International Communications Group (CICG), launched a word cloud map on its big data platform, about media coverage of the 2023 “two sessions” after analyzing news reports in 76 languages from more than 4,000 media outlets of over 200 countries and regions.
On this word cloud map, people could see clearly that “development” is the most trending word, which connects to terms like “high-quality development”, “innovative development”, “stable and healthy development”, “transformation of development models”, “development of emerging industries”, and “development of digital economy.” After several press conferences on China’s economic performance and policies, “stability of Chinese economy” was the most repeated phrase, reflecting the world’s confidence in China’s high-quality growth and sustainable development.
Jens Eskelund, vice president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China and managing director of Maersk (China) Co., Ltd., commented on the government work report which sets China’s GDP growth target for 2023 at around five percent. “We should see the significance behind this figure. Only the high-quality development of China’s economy can ensure such a growth rate, which is of great significance to the whole world,” he said.
Robots are working on the production line for intelligent manufacturing.
High-quality Sustainable Development
“Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed high-quality development, pointing out that it is the primary task of building a modern socialist country in all respects. We have always adhered to the new philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, which runs through the entire development process and all fields of economic development,” said Dong Hao, member of the Party Leadership Group of Beijing Shunyi District Bureau of Economic and Information Technology and director of the District Manufacturing Innovation and Development Promotion Center.
He told China Today that Shunyi District has become a model for Beijing’s high-standard opening-up for its institutional innovation by utilizing the preferential policies for building the “Two Zones”, namely the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening up the Service Sector and China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone. It also taps into its geographic advantages such as seating the Beijing Capital International Airport.
To the north of Shuanghe Street in Shunyi District, the construction of the 47-hectare new energy automobile manufacturer, Ideal Automobile Beijing Green Intelligent Factory, is in full swing. Its four workshops of stamping, welding, painting and general assembly have all been completed, and the equipment is being installed and tested. They are all poised to be part of a green intelligent factory for the production of electric vehicles after its completion at the end of 2023.
As one of Beijing’s key projects focusing on intelligent manufacturing of new energy vehicles during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the Ideal Automobile Beijing Green Intelligent Factory will help speed up the transition from gas-powered vehicles to new energy vehicles on the city streets, without any increase of Beijing’s total production capacity. Meanwhile, it can contribute to facilitate China’s carbon peak and neutrality goals to accelerate socioeconomic development. “Besides the automobile industry, numerous sci-tech innovative elements are gathering in Shunyi, forming key industrial clusters to integrate into the strategic high-quality development in Beijing,” said Dong.
“Our business strategy is entirely consistent with China’s green development concept,” said Suchan Rafael Heinrich, president of Haohan Haici Recycling Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. It is one of the Verband Deutscher Hidden Champions, (VDHC), and recently settled in the Beijing China-Germany Industrial Park. Headquartered in Dusseldorf, an industrial town in northwest Germany, the company’s major businesses include metal recycling, new energy vehicles and core auto parts recycling. At present, it has signed a contract to operate in China, which includes establishing a B2B digital trading platform for circular economy in the China-Germany Industrial Park, and introducing German engineering technology into the Chinese market. “In the future, we will work together with the China-Germany Innovation Center for Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality, to promote exchanges on advanced technologies and business incubation in the quest to reach the “Double Carbon” goals, leading green manufacturing with innovative technologies,” said Heinrich.
Innovation Synergy Renews Impetus
“This is just a microcosm of China-Germany industrial cooperation,” said Dong, who introduced that Beijing China-Germany Industrial Park is the first national park focusing on economic and technological cooperation between China and Germany. So far, it has gathered 90 German enterprises, including Bosch and Ameco, 27 are VDHCs, with more than 120 German senior executives and engineers, attracting a total investment of 4.5 billion euros. Its annual industrial output of RMB 35 billion is a good indicator for German enterprises to pursue further development in Beijing.
In order to attract more German enterprises to invest in China, an operation and management mechanism featuring organizations in both Chinese and overseas markets was established. A management committee was set up in China and branch offices were opened in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany, to serve the economic and technological cooperation between the two countries. Meanwhile, the industrial park is cooperating with the German TechQuarter Scientific and Technological Innovation Center, and other institutions, to build a scientific and technological innovation incubation center and a scientific and technological achievement transformation center, maximizing their respective advantages to connect innovative resources and to realize win-win development of the two countries.
Wilo Group, one of the world’s leading premium suppliers of pumps and pump systems, is also a beneficiary of the huge market and preferential policies in China. The company entered China in 1995 and settled in Shunyi in 2000. Its business in China has maintained steady growth over the past 20-plus years. “In 2021, the sales revenue of Wilo Group has seen a year-on-year growth of 20 percent. China has become the second largest single market across the globe besides Germany,” said Yann Passard, head of Wilo Group’s OEM Business Development and Business Support. “With the increasing share of the Chinese market, the company has placed more weight in its business in China. In the next five years, it plans to add RMB 100 million to the factory construction at the China-Germany Industrial Park, further releasing its production capacity and achieving sustained growth,” added Passard.
“Beijing’s preferential policies and rich resources, as well as the full-chain services of the China-Germany Industrial Park have guaranteed the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain, and thus promoted extensive cooperation among enterprises in the Industrial Park,” said Dong. He also pointed out that the Industrial Park, with its application scenarios in the fields of intelligent manufacturing, smart city, automatic driving, energy conservation and environmental protection, has created new drivers for bilateral cooperation on new technologies and typical applications of new products.
Yann Passard (left), head of Wilo Group’s OEM Business Development and Business Support, introducing products to customers.
At the beginning of 2023, a business team of Beijing China-Germany Industrial Park went to Germany and visited eight associations, institutions, industrial clusters, and innovation platforms. They also visited some German companies whose businesses in China have been settled in the Park and Chinese companies running projects in Germany. “More than 20 German enterprises expressed their wish to do field research in the Park, and five VDHCs expressed their willingness to have further cooperation,” said Dong.
Via its overseas offices, Beijing China-Germany Industrial Park has carried out exchanges with enterprises in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Duisburg, Bonn, Cologne and other places in Germany. It also had people-to-people exchanges with 50-plus German institutions such as German Association of the Automotive Industry, and over 80 German enterprises such as Daimler, BMW and Bosch. Moreover, Shunyi District has held more than 20 events such as the 2022 Beijing China-Germany Forum for Industrial Cooperation and China-Germany Wine Culture Festival. The Industrial Park has also had a presence at some big events in Germany such as the Hannover Industrial Expo, the Hannover Commercial Auto Show and the World Intelligent Internet Vehicle Conference. These exchanges and visits have deepened the cooperation and communication between the Chinese and German industries and business communities. The Park expanded its influence in the German business sector, and strengthened the confidence of more than 30 European enterprises to invest in the industrial park.
“We are planning to hold the 2023 Beijing China-Germany Forum for Industrial Cooperation to gather together experts, scholars and entrepreneurs from both China and Germany, will release industrial research results and explore the path of China-Germany joint industrial innovation and development. Meanwhile, we will increase cultural activities, display new technologies, new products and new scenarios, to show the results of cooperation with China.” Dong said that a China-Germany manufacturing town and China-Germany low-carbon smart park are also under construction, to manufacture international standard products and build living facilities for expatriates working and living in the Industrial Park.