April 2016 - On April 25 the 14th Beijing Motor Show opened its doors to the public. The event is held every two years on an annually-alternating basis with the Shanghai Motor Show and is one of the largest international automotive shows in the world. This year's Beijing Motor Show puts a spotlight on sports utility vehicles (SUVs). There is an increase in demand for large cars in China, with automakers now talking about increasing space and the number of people that can fit into an SUV. Leading international carmakers, including Mercedes, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, and GM followed this trend and displayed new SUV models, many of which were concept cars, not yet being mass-produced for the public. In comparison to 2015 SUV sales in China increased by 52 percent, one of the few auto segments that continues to grow. So far, international car producers still lead the way, despite the cheaper prices offered by Chinese local brands. But there are interesting concept cars presented by Chinese companies as well. Take for example LeEco, the parent company of Faraday Future, and often referred to as China’s Netflix. LeEco presented its vision of a high-end EV which is a direct rival to Tesla’s Model S. This concept car gives us an idea of evolving Chinese cars that could be available on the market a few years down the road.
November 2015 - AUSTRIA CONNECT Greater China is the most important event of the Austrian business community in China. This year it was held from the 19th to 21st November in Chengdu, under the motto “Going West and Beyond”. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan and one of China’s most rapidly growing provinces. The region has recently experienced a rapid increase in foreign investment. Sichuan’s success demonstrates how important it is to pay attention to the potential of markets outside China’s well-developed coastal regions.
The exchange with executives of Austrian businesses in China is at the core of the AUSTRIA CONNECT event. Panel discussions and expert presentations focused on the topic of expanding in China and beyond and explored related business opportunities and challenges.
October 2015 - Since 1999 the German Center Beijing, which supports small and medium-sized German companies in opening or expanding their own local base in China, has been located in Beijing's Landmark Towers. Starting from October 2015, the German Center Beijing celebrated the opening of its second building in DRC Liangmaqiao Diplomatic Office Building. Landesbank BadenWürttemberg and the German Center Beijing celebrated the expansion of the new business center on the occasion of the visit of the Minister President of the State of BadenWürttemberg, Mr. Winfried Kretschmann, and the Deputy Minister President and Minister of Finance and Economics of the State of Baden Württemberg, Dr. Nils Schmid.
July 2015 - Which technologies are affecting the future mobility? Will new vehicle concepts stand up to traditional cars? How are automotive value chains shifting? These three questions are not only affecting the automotive industry but also the new players, changing the automotive world. The key to new and successful products on the market is the cooperation between large and medium-sized companies as well as scientific institutions. Hence, innovative companies are more and more looking for creative routes for new solutions. “Zulieferer Innovativ 2016”, is the leading congress of the Bavarian Automotive Cluster and highlighted the latest trends and innovative solutions for mobility and vehicle developments. The Congress offered a thematically focused platform for the direct dialog between representatives of industry, science, and policy in an inspiring atmosphere of BMW Welt Munich.
June 2015 - “The trucks of the future will be connected and will become even more efficient than today’s models. Our commercial vehicle industry is working intensively on connected and automated driving. This way we can make marked improvements in fuel efficiency, road safety and also profitability, particularly in road freight traffic,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the association’s Commercial Vehicle Symposium 2015 in Berlin. Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, chairman of the VDA’s Board Group Commercial Vehicles and a member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG, stressed, “We want to take new paths – to protect the environment without endangering jobs. To shape the Internet of Things, in which commercial vehicles and logistics play a key role.” The commercial vehicle sector is an important industry branch in Germany – around 180,000 people are directly employed at the truck, bus, trailer and body manufacturers and their suppliers.
June 2015 - GIFA is the most important trade fair for foundry technology in the world. After five days Messe Düsseldorf delivers a very positive summary of “The Bright World of Metals” which took place in June 2015. The metal fair registered good marks on the exhibitors’ as well as on the visitors’ side. In particular, the internationality again increased distinctly and now amounts to 56 percent at the visitors and 51 percent at the exhibitors. With 78,000 visitors from more than 120 countries GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST 2015 in Düsseldorf were on the level of the previous events. Especially in China and the Asian region, there is a great demand for European metallurgy and foundry technology corresponding current requirements of the industry regarding the saving of energy and resources. Two third of the visitors are directly involved in investment decisions in the top and middle management of their companies. On top of the international visitor ranking, there are experts from India, Italy, Turkey, France, and China.
June 2015 - Localization policies in China recently come into the spotlight of foreign media due to a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal called Twice as Many Expats Leaving China than arriving. This article is based upon a survey conducted by a relocation firm, that according to the company’s customer data, twice as many people moved out of China than into the country in 2014. The localization strategy is not new to China's foreign invested enterprises. According to its supporters, it helps gain more trust from the local country, where its subsidiary lies in, which further improves remarkably the compromise of the multinational enterprise and the local market. It will also reduce the HR cost, at the same time, guarantee the relative stability of the management staff to some extent and improve the working efficiency of them. It is also beneficial to help the multinational cooperations to get familiar with the market situation of the local country so as to expand its market space. However, is the localization strategy ideal? Up to which extent? Are there any negative effects on MNCs’ long-term strategy by employing more and more locals to the management positions? With this questions in mind, the European Chamber organized a debate in Beijing by bringing HR experts and HR directors from MNCs to share their views and argue the advantages and disadvantage of the localization. Among the speakers were Swee Seng Lee, Head of HR in ABB Greater China, Sunny Zhang, Regional HR Manager, Greater China, DNV GL - Oil & Gas and Jürgen Czajor, HR Director, Daimler Greater China.
June 2015 - During the Automotive Interiors Expo this June in Stuttgart the winners of the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards were announced. Robin Page, Volvo’s vice president of interior design, received the honor of Interior Designer of the Year. Page’s work, which includes a high-tech touchscreen control console, was recognized as helping to build the company’s luxury credentials. Page said, “I am humbled by this award. The interior design of the XC90 reflects a paradigm shift for Volvo Cars. At Volvo Cars, we focus on creating an overall luxury living experience. This means using natural materials such as wood, leather, and crystal in a way that delivers calmness and serenity to the driving experience.” In the other categories, Johnson Controls was recognized through the Supplier of the Year award. BMW won the Interior Innovation of the Year – Production Vehicle Award for the instrument cluster on the BMW i8. Two other awards categories focused on concept car design and innovation across the interiors sector. The Interior Design of the Year – Concept Vehicle saw the Mercedes-Benz F 015 take top honors. Faurecia scooped the Concept Interior Innovation of the Year for its lightweight seats in the Renault Eolab concept.
May 2015 - By 2010, China’s manufacturing scale overtook the U.S. to become the world’s biggest market. In terms of industrial competitiveness, China ranks No. 7 among 136 countries and is the world's largest net manufacturing exporter. On the other hand, the Chinese manufacturing industry features large resources consumption, poor independent innovation capability and high external dependence of core components. Moreover, in recent years, the “low-cost advantage” on which the manufacturing industry relies to survive fades away gradually. As a part of Hannover global automation itinerant exhibition, Industrial Automation Beijing has been dedicated itself to building the most authoritative transaction and promotion platform for industrial intelligent and automated products in northern China for many years. In response to industrial enterprise users’ demands, Industrial Automation Beijing has taken the lead in organizing a fair with the focus on technical orientation and application, exploring more business opportunities for exhibitors and visitors.
April 2015 - In a demanding and fast changing environment as the Chinese market, Human Resources has become a strategic imperative for German companies. A notoriously competitive talent market, rapid salary increases, and high employee turnover are among the top business challenges. Companies that have recognized this fact and consider have a strong engagement from their top management can gain a long-term competitive advantage. In order to support those companies, the Delegation of the German Industry & Commerce, the German Chamber of Commerce and DEinternational Shanghai jointly organized “China HR Tomorrow”. The Summit serves as a platform for top management and HR executives to discuss cutting-edge approaches and solutions as well as learn from the best and most experienced practitioners in the field of HR Management in China.
April 2015 - Human resources related topics such as increasing labor costs as well as finding and retaining qualified staff is among the top business challenges for German companies in China. The HR Forum which took place in Beijing provided a platform for 30 participants to take a look at HR issues from different angles, including the perspective of the parent company in the home country. Mr. Kai Mütze, Managing Director, IAC Unternehmensberatung GmbH addressed the question of how to better manage international assignments, allowing a smooth transition and rewarding development for employees sent abroad as well as their parent companies. Dr. Oliver Prüfer, Head of Human Resources, Recruitment & Training, German Industry & Commerce Greater China gave insights into recruitment and specific challenges in a Sino-German environment. Dr. Nils Seibert, Head of Legal & Investment, German Industry & Commerce Greater China highlighted a range of issues to be taken into account when dealing with Chinese Labor Law.
March 2015 - The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in partnership with AmCham, the Japanese Chamber and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) China Task Force, organized an exclusive seminar with Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Beijing. Following opening remarks by Jörg Wuttke, Chairman of the BIAC China Task Force and President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, Mr. Gurria will share his insights on China’s economy and provide details on the OECD’s contribution to China’s 13th Five-year Plan, which will come into force in 2016. Mr. Gurria’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by James Zimmerman, Chairman of the American Chamber, and Hiroshi Tokumaru, Representative in China of Mitsui Chemical and Director of Board for CJCCI will provide closing remarks.
March 2015 - Dr. Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria, arrived in Beijing on March 26th, 2015, together with a high-ranking delegation. During a Business Briefing and a Networking Evening Reception with 500 guests, President Fischer emphasized the growing importance of economic relations between Austria and China as well as the potential for further cooperation. In 2014, the trading volume between the two countries exceeded EUR 10 billion for the first time. Chinese and Austrian companies have been cooperating very actively in a wide range of sectors such as machinery, urbanization, green technologies, infrastructure, mobility, and energy. Recently, based on the new stage of development that the Chinese economy has reached, cooperation is also growing stronger in areas like consumer goods and lifestyle, life science, medical technologies, and tourism. One excellent example is the field of winter sports, where Austrian companies have vast experience and expertise and are thus in an excellent position to support China with the preparations for potential Olympic Winter Games in 2022.
December 2014 - In December the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers' Association (VDMA) hosted a seminar on the topic “HR in China – the war for talents, successful recruitment, and good HR Management” in Beijing. Especially small and medium-sized companies often struggle with the right set-up of a professional HR management system. The event covered a broad range of topics including executive search, talent pooling, legal HR implications and employer branding. While executive search is aiming to attract talent within a short period of time, talent pooling is a more preventive and future-oriented HR strategy for manufacturing companies in China. In times of talent shortage and increasing competition for qualified staff critical talent pipelines should be developed long-term to avoid future shortages. Besides Volkswagen Group China introduced their assessment center model and how it is applied for different management levels.