German ties to Chengdu provide inspiration, opportunities

Authors: China Daily

2017-07-10

An economic and cultural hub in western China, Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, is boosting ties with Germany in various fields ranging from art and design to transport, manufacturing and trade, experts said.
An agreement reached by the local government and the Hannover Industrial Design Forum on June 20 will establish a design center in the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.
Covering 4,000 square meters, the center includes exhibitions, design labs, offices and cooperative spaces, all maintaining the same design standards of its counterparts in Germany.
German ties to Chengdu provide inspiration, opportunities
"Chengdu's design environment is very good. Relying on the city's geographic advantages and rich resources, we hope to expand our business to other regions in western China," said Ralph Wiegmann, CEO of the forum.
He said the center is aiming to bring design information from the global frontier to local residents.
"We plan to establish a state-of-the-art experience center, hold exhibitions for prestigious designs and introduce famed international design forums," he said.
Last year, the prize-winning pieces at the 2016 IF Design Awards, launched by the forum in 1953 and renowned throughout the design industry, were displayed in its first overseas destination, Chengdu, with a total of 700 items from 20 countries and regions.
Wiegmann said through such an event, local residents could gain a better understanding of world-class art and design, and learn about the newest trends in the global market.
"China is sure to become a world-class hub for design, under which people will pay much attention to education in the sector."
In addition to art and design, the two countries have made joint efforts in promoting public transport and logistics.
Recently, Car2go, the Daimler-owned car-sharing service, signed an agreement with Chengdu to deploy 1,000 Smart cars in the next three years. The company is known as Ji Xing Car2go in China. "Ji xing" means "ready to go" or "immediately hit the road" in Chinese.
It is Daimler's first free-floating car-sharing public transport service in the world with more than 14,000 cars and 2.2 million users in 31 cities globally.
To further deepen cooperation with Germany in transport, Chengdu has signed a friendship agreement with Duisburg, one of the biggest inland container terminals in the world.
Volker Mosblech, vice-mayor of Duisburg, said the logistics industry in Chengdu has been developing at a fast pace in recent years.
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