2018 in con­sular re­view: achieve­mentsand plans

Global Times asks Shang­hai con­suls gen­eral about their ac­com­plish­ments over the past 12 months and what they hope for the fu­ture. Here are the sec­ond seven.

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITY PANORAMA -

They say Shang­hai rep­re­sents the fu­ture of China. I say the fu­ture has al­ready ar­rived. Shang­hai has be­come a sym­bol of mod­ern, open and dy­namic China, and it has been a great priv­i­lege for me to rep­re­sent my coun­try here as the Con­sul Gen­eral of Tur­key.

2018 wit­nessed many events that brought Tur­key and China even closer. Shang­hai played a very im­por­tant role in this process. The mayor of Shang­hai, Ying Yong, vis­ited Istanbul in June of 2018. This was an im­por­tant visit where two sis­ter cities – Istanbul and Shang­hai – dis­cussed a plan for the fu­ture. Min­is­ters of Cul­ture and Jus­tice from Tur­key vis­ited Shang­hai and had very fruit­ful meet­ings with the lead­er­ship of Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Peo­ple’s Govern­ment.

We also or­ga­nized se­ries of cul­tural events in Shang­hai to in­tro­duce dif­fer­ent as­pects of Turk­ish cul­ture to Shang­hainese. Most im­pres­sive, in my opin­ion, was the per­for­mance of Fire of Ana­to­lia Dance Group at Dan­ning The­ater in April. I be­lieve that cul­tural ex­changes sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove con­tact and un­der­stand­ing. I am happy to be a part of this, as Shang­hai is the cen­ter of both eco­nomic and cul­tural ties between Tur­key and China. In ad­di­tion, artists, writ­ers, film direc­tors and painters from Tur­key vis­ited Shang­hai to ex­hibit their works and at­tend in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals.

The event of the year in Shang­hai was of course the first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE). The Turk­ish Deputy Min­is­ter of Trade at­tended the open­ing cer­e­mony. In to­tal, 43 Turk­ish com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pated in this im­por­tant event. With CIIE, Shang­hai be­came the place where Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping an­nounced the fur­ther open­ing of China to the world. Shang­hai plays an im­por­tant role in Tur­key’s trade with China. We also want to see more com­pa­nies from Shang­hai to in­vest in Tur­key.

Tur­key aims to trans­late a long last­ing friend­ship with China into a strong part­ner­ship un­der the frame­work of the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive. Shang­hai will def­i­nitely be the cen­ter of this part­ner­ship, as this city will con­tinue to lead the eco­nomic devel­op­ment of China.

I wish a happy, healthy and pros­per­ous new year to all. This was my sec­ond year here in Shang­hai and I con­tinue to be im­pressed by this dy­namic megac­ity. It is not only an eco­nomic pow­er­house but also a city with a vi­brant cul­tural scene. Count­less ex­am­ples il­lus­trate this, like the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val in­clud­ing the German Fo­cus sec­tion, and plenty of con­certs and ex­hi­bi­tions, such as the Shang­hai Bi­en­nale.

Our coun­tries are more in­ter­twined than ever, with Ger­many be­ing China’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner in Europe and China be­ing trade-part­ner num­ber-one for Ger­many.

Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel vis­ited China for the 11th time and Fed­eral For­eign Min­is­ter Heiko Maas came to Beijing as well as our Fed­eral Pres­i­dent, Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier, in De­cem­ber.

In Shang­hai we wel­comed a wide range of high-rank­ing del­e­ga­tions from Ger­many, from the fed­eral govern­ment as well as from fed­eral states and from busi­ness in­sti­tu­tions and com­pa­nies. They all came to see the breath­tak­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment of Shang­hai and its sur­round­ing re­gions and ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties for fur­ther Sino-German co­op­er­a­tion.

In the world of busi­ness, China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) was the mile­stone event of the year. This trade fair was a sig­nal for fur­ther eco­nomic open­ing up by China and I hope that more con­crete steps will be taken next year.

While CIIE at­tracted more than 170 com­pa­nies from Ger­many, it seems that the right bal­ance between se­cu­rity con­cerns and lean pro­ce­dures for ex­hibitors and vis­i­tors still has to be found.

For 2019 and 2020, Ger­many will be a non-per­ma­nent mem­ber of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. In this ca­pac­ity, Ger­many will seek mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion to tackle global chal­lenges such as peace, se­cu­rity and cli­mate change.

More­over, we will cel­e­brate 30 years of the fall of the Ber­lin Wall. In the cul­tural field there will be the 100th an­niver­sary of Bauhaus amongst other high­lights.

For 2019, I hope that Shang­hai will re­main as open and wel­com­ing to for­eign­ers and ex­pats as it has been in the past. I have been based in Shang­hai for over five years and it is fas­ci­nat­ing to ob­serve the city de­vel­op­ing at a tremen­dous pace. Sim­ple things in life like pay­ing the bak­ery next door have com­pletely changed as Shang­hai be­comes a cash­less so­ci­ety. En­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion is get­ting bet­ter, and even for­eign busi­nesses think that they now have a fair chance at win­ning IPR in­fringe­ment cases in Shang­hai.

From a Lux­em­bourg perspective, we have seen the Silk Road by Air link­ing Lux­em­bourg and China mul­ti­ply cargo air­planes fly­ing between both coun­tries with our na­tional car­rier Car­golux fly­ing up to 50 times per week and China South­ern just hav­ing in­au­gu­rated a new route between Shang­hai and the Grand-Duchy.

In the field of fi­nance, ties are strong; since I ar­rived, five large Chi­nese banks have joined BOC and ICBC with their Euro­pean hubs in Lux­em­bourg. This year has clearly been un­der the sign of sus­tain­able fi­nance with the es­tab­lish­ment of the green bond between Shang­hai and Lux­em­bourg Stock Ex­changes and many Chi­nese in­sti­tu­tions list­ing their green bonds in Lux­em­bourg.

In high tech­nol­ogy, it is worth men­tion­ing that Lux­em­bourg-based ArcelorMit­tal, the largest steel pro­ducer in the world, opened no less than four JV plants in China in 2017, pro­duc­ing lighter and more se­cure spe­cialty steel parts for elec­tric ve­hi­cles. In 2018, more and more young in­no­va­tive Chi­nese com­pa­nies have cho­sen Lux­em­bourg for their Euro­pean ex­pan­sion in fields like fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy, blockchain or AI.

Be­yond busi­ness, the Lux­em­bourg Na­tional Mu­seum of His­tory and Art is cur­rently show­ing “The Ori­gins of Chi­nese Civ­i­liza­tion: Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Trea­sures of He­nan.” From De­cem­ber to March 2019, our Shang­hainese friends will be able to visit the ex­hi­bi­tion “Nested” by Lux­em­bourg artist Su-Mei Tse at YUZ mu­seum. With a new Lux­em­bourg govern­ment since the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, I am look­ing for­ward to fur­ther de­vel­op­ing ties between our two coun­tries. Min­is­ters in charge of Econ­omy, Fi­nance or Trans­porta­tion have vis­ited China many times and they will con­tinue to keep us busy at the Con­sulate and the Trade and In­vest­ment Of­fice.

It was a great year in Nether­lands-China re­laWillem-Alexan­der tions. Our King H.M. W and Queen H.M. Max­ima paid a work­ing visit to Beijing in Fe­bru­ary un­der the in­vi­ta­tion of Ching, nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping less than 18 months af­ter their state visit in 2015.

In April, our Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte led four other min­is­ters and a large busi­ness del­e­ga­tion on a visit to China. In Shang­hai we wel­comed Dutch Min­is­ter for For­eign Trade and Devel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Si­grid Kaag and State Sec­re­tary for In­fra­struc­ture and Wa­ter Man­age­ment Stien­tje van Veld­hoven and their busi­ness del­e­ga­tions.

In Oc­to­ber, Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang vishere ited the Nether­lands where he again met with his coun­ter­part, Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte. These fre­quent high-level vis­its show that our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions are the riv­ing

For me per­son­ally, mov­ing to Shang­hai with my fam­ily in Augu I al­ways hoped to be posted in Shang­hai ever since I joined the for­eign ser­vice. So 2018 is a dream-come-true year for me.

In 2019 our mis­sion is to fur­ther strength­nomic en and deepen our eco­nomic re­la­tions with China, es­pe­cially in the fields of sus­tain­abil­ity, ur­ban devel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion. Not only do we face chal­lenges in these ar­eas for both our coun­tries, we are also con­vinced that only by joint ef­fort can we come up with the best smart so­lu­tions. And smart so­lu­tions are what the Nether­lands like to co­op­er­ate in.

In 2019, we will also cel­e­brate the 40th an­niver­sary of sis­ter city re­la­tions between Rot­nal ter­dam and Shang­hai.

I have two pro­fes­sional hopes for 2019. First, that the Nether­lands Con­sulate Gen­eral here in Shang­hai will con­tinue to be able to con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to smart so­lu­tions between Dutch and Chi­nese part­ners for the chal­lenges we face here in China.

Sec­ond, I hope that we can also specif­i­cally co­op­er­ate on sus­tain­able ur­ban devel­op­ment for Shang­hai in 2019, which will be my new home for the next four years

I would be hon­ored to con­trib­ute to Shang­greener hai’s goals to be­come a greener and more sus­tain­able city where ev­ery­one can en­joy both work­ing and liv­ing.

As my tour of duty is nearly com­ing to an end in Jan­uary of 2019 af­ter hav­ing served as Con­sul Gen­eral of Egypt in Shang­hai for four years, it is in­deed breath­tak­ing to wit­ness the mile­stones that have been achieved in Egyp­tian-Sino re­la­tions, el­e­vated from a strate­gic part­ner­ship in 1999 to a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship in 2014.

This com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship has led to the con­sol­i­da­tion and en­hance­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions to a whole new hori­zon that was re­flected in six pres­i­den­tial vis­its by H.E. Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah el-Sisi to China (bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral), and one pres­i­den­tial visit by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping to Egypt since 2014. Many bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments were signed in the fields of power gen­er­a­tion, the con­struc­tion of a new ad­min­is­tra­tive cap­i­tal, space and trans­porta­tion.

In Shang­hai in 2018, we were blessed with sev­eral high level vis­its and we highly ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing cho­sen as one of 12 guests of honor to par­tic­i­pate in the first round of the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai in Novem­ber, which was headed by the Prime Min­is­ter of Egypt. I am also ex­tremely pleased to see that the Na­tional Bank of Egypt’s Branch in China (based in Shang­hai) is expanding its busi­ness af­ter ac­quir­ing a li­cense to deal in RMB and con­tin­ues to play a piv­otal role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing com­mer­cial and in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion between China, the Mid­dle East and African coun­tries.

For­eign di­rect Chi­nese in­vest­ment in in­dus­trial and pro­duc­tion projects in Egypt in­creased at a rate of 25 per­cent in 2018. There is a Chi­nese in­dus­trial zone man­aged by TEDA, lo­cated strate­gi­cally by the Suez Canal, and we are happy to wit­ness its ex­pan­sion to 6 square kilo­me­ters to ac­com­mo­date grow­ing de­mand from Chi­nese en­ter­prises.

As Con­sul Gen­eral of Egypt in Shang­hai, I would like to ex­press my deep­est ad­mi­ra­tion to the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Peo­ple’s Govern­ment for the tremen­dous sup­port that they have given me. I would also like to con­grat­u­late them for their out­stand­ing achieve­ments. I am con­fi­dent that Shang­hai will be a global eco­nomic, fi­nan­cial, trad­ing, cul­tural and ship­ping cen­ter by 2020. Four months have passed since my ar­rival in the thriv­ing me­trop­o­lis of Shang­hai, the heart of the Yangtze River Delta. No sur­prise that the re­gion re­mains the pre­ferred lo­ca­tion for do­ing busi­ness in – and with – China. Ex­ist­ing Swiss com­pa­nies are expanding, and new ones are set­ting up fa­cil­i­ties here.

Shang­hai’s dy­namism is well rec­og­nized by our govern­ment. In Septem­ber of this year, Fed­eral Coun­cilor Jo­hann N. Sch­nei­der-Am­mann led 50 Swiss busi­ness leaders and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the higher-ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor of Switzer­land to the city. They were briefed on new de­vel­op­ments and re­search in E-mo­bil­ity. The Swiss del­e­ga­tion wit­nessed how new ideas are im­ple­mented with speed and optimism.

The acro­nym China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) spread quickly and res­onated that “China is open for busi­ness!” This mes­sage was taken up by State Sec­re­tary for Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Marie-Gabrielle Ine­ichen-Fleisch who in­au­gu­rated the Swiss Na­tional Pavil­ion at CIIE in the pres­ence of Swiss Am­bas­sador to China Jean-Jac­ques de Dardel.

The pavil­ion pre­sented my coun­try’s lead­ing po­si­tion in in­no­va­tion as well as tra­di­tional Swiss val­ues such as tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity. I no­ticed with joy that vis­i­tors flocked in high num­bers to our pres­ence, be it at our Na­tional Pavil­ion or at the Com­mer­cial Cen­ter.

The Lucerne Fes­ti­val Or­ches­tra and the Ton­halle Or­ches­tra Zürich per­formed dur­ing the China Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val with suc­cess. I am de­lighted that Shang­hainese peo­ple had many op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet Swiss artists and their works and with great prox­im­ity, and I as­sure you that 2019 will see a growth in such cul­tural en­coun­ters.

The Sino-Swiss agenda for next year is tak­ing shape. It is too early for un­veil­ing more de­tails, but what I can say now is that, in 2019, my team and I are work­ing hard to present Switzer­land in all her het­ero­gene­ity. My wish for the New Year is to strengthen and deepen our friendly ties with China and es­pe­cially with the peo­ple of Shang­hai.

Per­son­ally, I wish to get to know the Yangtze Delta re­gion bet­ter, ex­pe­ri­ence its rich tra­di­tions and his­tory, and in­ter­act with many cit­i­zens from all walks of life. In the mid­dle of Septem­ber, I as­sumed my re­spon­si­bil­ity as the Con­sul Gen­eral of the Repub­lic of Poland in Shang­hai. It was a year full of sig­nif­i­cance and great­ness for me per­son­ally as well as for our two na­tions.

The year 2018 was the ju­bilee year mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of Poland re­gain­ing its in­de­pen­dence. One hun­dred years ago, on Novem­ber 11, the Pol­ish state was re­born and a free Poland was re­in­stated on the map of the world af­ter the First World War. For China, 2018 was the 40th year since the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy was im­ple­mented, the suc­cess­ful re­sults that this pol­icy brought about have been seen in many as­pects of Chi­nese peo­ple’s life.

The first edi­tion of the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) was no doubt the high­light of the year for Shang­hai as well as the whole coun­try, from which I per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced the great po­ten­tials of this city.

High-rank­ing of­fi­cials from the Pol­ish govern­ment and more than 80 Pol­ish ex­hibitors at­tended the fair, ex­press­ing their will­ing­ness to share great and unique Pol­ish prod­ucts and cul­ture to Chi­nese so­ci­ety. We are glad that CIIE will be­come an an­nual event in the com­ing years and we look for­ward to see­ing the Pol­ish la­bel be­come more pop­u­lar and rec­og­nized among Chi­nese cus­tomers.

The year 2019 will mark the 70th an­niver­sary of es­tab­lish­ing diplo­matic re­la­tions between Poland and China, and the 65th an­niver­sary of set­ting up the Pol­ish Con­sulate in Shang­hai. We do hope that the key role that Poland holds both in the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive and the 16+1 Frame­work pro­posed by the Chi­nese govern­ment will re­in­force a long-term and sta­ble part­ner­ship between our two coun­tries.

The res­o­lu­tion of our mis­sion in 2019 is to wel­come more Chi­nese vis­i­tors to Poland and to hold joint cul­tural events with our Chi­nese coun­ter­parts. I am ready to em­brace my new Shang­hai life and to see this city be­come even more open and wel­com­ing to the rest of the world in the com­ing year.

Chris­tine AlthauserCon­sul Gen­eral of Ger­many in Shang­hai

Luc DeckerCon­sul Gen­eral of Lux­em­bourg in Shang­hai

Sabri Tunç AngılıCon­sul Gen­eral of Tur­key in Shang­hai

Remco van Wi­jn­gaar­denCon­sul Gen­eral of the Nether­lands in Shang­hai

Olivier Zehn­derCon­sul Gen­eral of Switzer­land in Shang­hai

Marek Ciesiel­czukCon­sul Gen­eral of the Repub­lic of Poland in Shang­hai

Amb.Khaled YoussefCon­sul Gen­eral of Egypt in Shang­hai

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.