26.11.2018 – 11:00
'Hamburg Summit': Call for deepening Chinese-European cooperation Chamber of Commerce President Bergmann urges joint action to counter protectionism
Chamber of Commerce President Tobias Bergmann opened the eighth 'Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe', running November 26 to 27 in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Given the current uncertainty in the global political situation, Bergmann called for a clear commitment to counter protectionist tendencies in world trade: "We would encourage China to work along with the EU towards rules-based trading within the framework of the WTO. In this, China and Europe need to further strengthen their partnership with a view to taking on greater responsibility globally."
Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg stressed the importance of the "Hamburg Summit" for deepening Chinese-German trade relations: "Hamburg is the gateway to China. An open dialogue about free trade and exchange of goods bolsters Hamburg's position as a hub for international goods flows."
In his opening address, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the 'Hamburg Summit', stressed the significance of cooperation between China and Europe on an equal footing: "Cooperation rather than confrontation should characterize relations between countries - even where their political and economic systems differ," said the former chancellor, who was at the Chamber of Commerce in the company of his wife Soyeon Schröder-Kim. For this reason, personal interaction and open discussion were particularly important, he said. The 'Hamburg Summit' had made a major contribution to this for the past 14 years, Schröder said, stressing the special role of the 'New Silk Road' initiative.
"I'm convinced that China's New Silk Road in particular will bring the people and economies of Asia and Europe even closer together," Schröder said. Following on from his speech, Angela Titzrath, chair of the HHLA port and logistics company, outlined Hamburg's strategic role as the most important terminus and hub of the landward and maritime Silk Road in Europe. Dr Song Hailiang, President of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), was presented with the China-Europe Friendship Award, which is traditionally awarded during the 'Hamburg Summit', in honour of his exceptional work for Chinese-European relations.
Since 1665, the Chamber of Commerce self-governing body of Hamburg's commercial economy. It represents the interests of around 160,000 businesses vis-a-vis the political and administrative authorities, as a customer-oriented service provider for its member companies and independent advocate for the market, competition and fair play. We advise companies, we combine interests and we train people. More than 700 business men and women from industry, commerce and the services sector work for us in an honorary capacity on more than 30 boards as chosen representatives of their sectors. They make a decisive contribution to the way the Chamber of Commerce forms opinions. In addition, 4,000 company representatives conduct the tests in dual training in an honorary capacity that the state has transferred to us by law as a sovereign duty. Our motto is: "We work for Hamburg."
Original content of: Handelskammer Hamburg, transmitted by news aktuell