Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of Hamburg, Germany, is answering questions in the press conference in Beijing, Nov. 14, 2011. (People’s Daily Online/Chen Lidan)
Beijing, Nov. 16 (People’s Daily Online) -- Hamburg, which is second biggest city in Germany and known as a home away from home for Chinese firms in Europe, expects to lure more Chinese investments and extend the scope of cooperation with Chinese cities.
Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of Hamburg, led a delegation with cultural and business leaders from Germany to pay a five-day visit in Beijing and Shanghai from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17. He held talks with Chinese leaders and exchanged views about the Sino-Germany friendship and the European debt crisis with Chinese officials.
Rebuilding trust in euro
In a press conference held in the German Embassy in Beijing, Scholz responded to reporters` worries about the European Union`s economic prospects. During talks with Chinese leaders, he sensed China`s trust in the European Union’s resilience in the face of crisis and he very much appreciated that, he said.
Chinese leaders have sent clear signals of support for the stability of the euro on many occasions. China "sincerely wishes to see stability in the euro zone and the euro," Chinese President Hu Jintao wrote, reaffirming the nation’s stance in a written interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro earlier this month.
Scholz said reporters should understand that the current turmoil comes out of mounting public debts in several euro zone members and is not the fault of the euro itself.
"The euro is comparatively stable and inflation in the euro zone is quite low," said Scholz, "If there were no euro, Germany would have to suffer the painful appreciation of the Deutsche Mark. For an export-oriented economy like Germany, it is very harmful."
Scholz also aired strong faith in the European Union`s capability of handling with the debt crisis. He said Greece’s economy only accounts for as little as 2.5 percent of the E.U. GDP, and the European Union has worked out solutions to tame the crisis.
Getting down to business
Hamburg is Germany`s largest port and carries more than half of the country’s trade to China. The city is one of the three major civic aviation manufacturing centers in the world. Therefore, the visit follows a schedule that focuses on dialogues with Chinese partners on sectors key to Hamburg`s further development.
Executives from firms involved in shipping, aviation and finance will discuss cooperation and investment opportunities with their Chinese counterparts, such as Cosco Group and China Eastern Airlines Corp.
As one of the major missions, the delegation will also present Hamburg’s business-friendly environment to Chinese investors.
So far, more than 400 Chinese firms have opened offices in Hamburg, far ahead of other European cities.