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China, EU political, business heavyweights end Hamburg Summit

Updated: Nov 25,2016 8:42 AM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong delivers a speech at the Hamburg Summit on Nov 24.[Photo/Xinhua]

HAMBURG — Several Chinese and European political and business heavyweights delivered speeches in Hamburg on Nov 24 to mark the end of the two-day Hamburg Summit “China Meets Europe”.

The summit drew numbers of senior officials, entrepreneurs and leading scholars from China and the European Union (EU) to discuss the most important issues in Sino-European economic relations.

China’s development is an opportunity for the world, said Vice-Premier Liu Yandong in her keynote speech, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative is to turn China’s opportunities into opportunities for the world and achieve common prosperity.

Nikolaus Schuees, conference chairman, also former president of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, expressed his thanks to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, saying that his “third participation in the conference shows that bilateral German-Chinese relations are closer than ever”.

“Chinese investments will continue to be very welcome,” also said Steinmeier on Nov 24 at the conclusion of the conference.

The minister hoped that the cooperation between the two countries will be even more intensified in areas beyond politics and economy.

Fritz Horst Melsheimer, president of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, emphasized Hamburg’s importance as a part of the “new Silk Road”.

The shift in the Chinese economy to greater innovation and sustainability is not automatically a threat. Instead, this transition opens up new opportunities for investment and market access on both sides, provided that there is a clear understanding of the conditions for this closer cooperation, he added.

At the summit there were many discussions relating to the Chinese initiative on a new Silk Road, said Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz.

“As Hamburg’s Mayor, I am delighted that one end of this road is located in our city. This applies both to the sea-routes via ship and to the trans-continental routes via rail,” said Scholz.

Cooperation rather than confrontation is a useful concept in international relations, he said, adding that especially here in Hamburg, “we are highly aware of the importance of China’s role in the global economy”.

The summit which was scheduled for Nov 23 and 24 this year in the northern German city of Hamburg delivered discussions, keynote speeches and panel meetings focusing on various topics, such as the fallout from Brexit, China’s economic transition, the Belt and Road Initiative and boosting efficiency in industrial manufacturing.

Initiated by Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2004, the biennial summit serve as an important platform for discussing China-EU economic cooperation.