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Joel Backaler is author of “China Goes West: Everything You Need to Know about Chinese Companies Going Global” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). He is also an Associate Vice President at Frontier Strategy Group and is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. His work specializes in bridging the gap between Western and Chinese businesses, serving as an intermediary and advisor to both.

Backaler previously worked for Atos Consulting’s China state-owned enterprise practice in Beijing. In 2008, he founded TheChinaObserver.com, an award-winning platform focused on Chinese outbound investment. His writing regularly appears in major international media outlets including BusinessWeek, Forbes, BBC, and the Financial Times. Backaler, a fluent Mandarin-speaker and Fulbright Scholar, has worked and lived in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Singapore. He currently lives in Washington D.C. with his wife Qian. He is active on Twitter @JoelBackaler.

Peter Berz currently works as Head of Unit in the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission in Brussels responsible for trade relations with the Far East. Until August 2012, he worked as Deputy Head of Unit in the Directorate General for Trade responsible for trade relations with South and South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. From 2002 to 2007, Peter Berz acted as Deputy Head of the Trade Section of the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington, DC. Prior, Peter Berz served from 2000 to 2002 at the Directorate General for External Relations of the European Commission covering the relations with the U.S. and Canada. From 1993 to 2000, he worked in the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission in the areas of intellectual property rights and trade in textiles. Peter Berz obtained his law degree from Munich University. He published articles on the European Community’s textile policy and the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing.

Xavier Bettel was born on 3 March 1973 in Luxembourg City. He graduated with a master’s degree in public and European law from the University of Nancy (France), followed by a DEA (post-graduate diploma of advanced studies) in political sciences and public law. From 2001 to 2013, Xavier Bettel worked as a barrister in Luxembourg.

A member of the Democratic Party (DP) since 1989, Xavier Bettel was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1999 at the age of 26. He was re-elected in 2004, 2009 and 2013. In Parliament, he as­sumed among others the roles of vice-chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee from 2004 to 2013. From 2009 to 2011, he assumed the role of chairman of the DP parliamentary group. Since January 2013, Xavier Bettel has been the chairman of the DP.

He served as an alderman of the City of Luxembourg from 2005 to 2011 and assumed the role of mayor of the country’s capital since November 2011.

Following the legislative elections of 20 October 2013, Xavier Bettel was appointed Prime Minister, Minister of State, Minister for Communications and Media, and Minister for Religious Affairs on 4 December 2013.

Elmar Brok, a member of the European Parliament since 1980, currently serves as chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and a member of the EP delegation for relations with India. Furthermore, Elmar Brok is chairman of the board of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) and co-chairman of the Transatlantic Legislator´s Dialogue (TLD). Elmar Brok also serves as the European People’s Party (EPP) spokesman on foreign affairs, coordinator of the EPP foreign ministers and acts as patron of the Kiev Dialogue.

As EPP representative for the European Parliament, Elmar Brok participated in several treaty negotiations including the EU-Treaties of Amsterdam (1996/1997), Nice (2000) and Lisbon (2007), the EU-Constitutional Convention (2001-2002), the European Stability Mechanism (2011-2012) and the International Treaty on Fiscal Stability (2011-2012).

Elmar Brok is also chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Federal Committee on Foreign, Security and European Policy as well as a member of the CDU National Board.

Reinhard Bütikofer (1953) has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2009 and co-chair of the European Green Party (EGP). Since 2012 he is a member of the EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), as well as a substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). He is a member of the Delegations for Relations with the United States and with China. From 2002 until 2008 Mr. Bütikofer was the national party chairman of the German Green Party, which he first joined 1984.

Mr. Bütikofer is a member of the German section of the Union of European Federalists (EUD), the Green European Foundation (GEF), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). He is a member of the advisory board of the American Jewish Committee’s Ramer Institute in Berlin and the Europe/Transatlantic advisory board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. He is a member of the German-Israeli Association (DIG), the German-Chinese Dialogue Forum, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), and the German trade union ver.di.

Günter Butschek was appointed Airbus Chief Operating Officer on 1st of June 2012. He also became Chairman of the Board of Management of Airbus in Germany (Airbus Operations GmbH). He graduated in economics at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University. Mr. Butschek began his professional career in 1984 at Mercedes-Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany. After several positions in logistics, human resources and procurement in the Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars division, Mr. Butschek became a member of the management board of DaimlerChrysler South Africa (DCSA) in 2000. In 2002, Günter Butschek moved to the Netherlands as President and CEO of Netherlands Car B.V. From 2005 to 2011 he was President and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd, in China. Leading the joint venture, he set the footprint for sustainable profitable growth. In his role today, he holds the overall responsibility for Airbus Operations, Engineering, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Quality and Information Technology.

Andreas Cichowicz, born in 1961, started his journalistic career as an editor with newspapers, worked as News Reporter for Süddeutscher Rundfunk, where he was Bureau Chief of ARD-Studio Johannesburg and TV-Correspondent for South Africa (1991-1994) and Bureau Chief of ARD-Studio Cairo and TV-Correspondent for the Arab World (1994-1999). In 2000, he joined Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) as Senior Reporter for “Panorama” magazine and Anchorman and Presenter of „Weltspiegel“ (Foreign magazine). Since 2004, he has been Editor-in-Chief and Head of Current Affairs. In 2010, he was appointed also Deputy Director of Television Programs at NDR.

Before joining MERICS, Björn Conrad served as Climate Change and Environment Officer at the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), managing numerous environmental projects in China and its neighbouring countries. Prior to taking up this post, he worked for the Global Environment Facility at the World Bank in Washington, DC. In 2008 he initiated the Global Public Policy Institute’s China Programme, with a focus on climate policy. In 2014, Conrad was appointed member of the expert committee for formulating a China Strategy for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

After completing his studies in Sinology, Political Science and Economics in Germany and China, Conrad moved to the US where he gained a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, specialising in environmental policy and economics.

Karel De Gucht graduated in 1976 from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) with a law degree. From 1976 till 2001, he practiced law. From 1980 to 1994 De Gucht was a Member of the European Parliament.

Since 1977 De Gucht is member of the Bureau of the PVV-Open Vld political party. From 1995 till 2003 he was a Member of the Flemish Parliament and served from 2007 till 2009 as Minister for International Trade and in 2004 as Minster for Foreign Affairs of Belgium.

In 2009, he became EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid and was elected in 2010 as EU Commissioner for Trade.

Karel De Gucht currently also gives several hours of lectures in European law (free of charge) at the VUB. Since 2002 he has the honorary title of Minister of State in Belgium.

Dr. Feng joined CDRF in April 2009 after he had worked at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for three years.

His research covers social development and social policies, population and urbanization issues and rural studies. He has conducted more than 30 field surveys regarding population and urbanization issues in China and Japan and published one book in Japanese and more than 30 papers in English, Japanese and Chinese. His book, China’s Migration and Social Realities, won widespread acclaim and received the Japanese Association for Rural Studies’ 2009 Research Award.

In 2006, he obtained his PhD from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. In September 2009 and May 2010, he was sent to the University of Tokyo to learn “Modern Urban Planning and Anti-earthquake”. From August 2013 to December 2013, he was invited to Harvard Kennedy School as a visiting fellow. Since 2011, upon invitation he has become special advisor to China Earthquake Administration.

Dr. Rainer Feurer was born in Tailfingen/Germany in 1966. After his studies in Business Administration and International Management in London and Monterey (MBA) he received his Ph.D. in Strategy Formulation and Implementation at Cranfield University, UK, in 1994.

Before joining BMW in 1998, he gained experiences as a consultant. At BMW Group, the manager has filled various positions in strategic planning departments and took the position as Vice President Strategic Planning in 2005.

From 2007 to 2013 Dr. Feurer was responsible for the Global BMW Group Corporate Strategy as Senior Vice President and as such deeply involved in the strategic set-up of the BMW Group in China.

Today, besides his position as Senior Vice President Sales Strategy and Steering, Dr. Feurer is also member of the Supervisory Board of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., the BMW Joint Venture in China.

Mr. Hansen Yuen, born in April 1961, is the President and Board Chairman of MAXYEE GROUP. His further senior positions include Board Chairman of Shaanxi Jinye Science Technology and Education Group Co.,Ltd., President of Northwestern Polytechnical University Ming De College and President of Shaanxi Jinye Real Estate Development Group Co., Ltd..

MAXYEE GROUP founded by Mr. Hansen Yuen has become a diversified large multinational conglomerate in the past 20 years with real estate, cultural industry, bio-pharmacy, petrochemical, special printing as its principle industries.

Under his lead, the group has taken charge of many projects of old city reconstruction in Xuzhou, Shenzhen and other second-tier cities. Projects like MAXYEE Mingli Garden, MAXYEE Garden, and MAXYEE Folklore Garden in Xuzhou combine many aspects of urban planning and development such as old city reconstruction, new communities in modern suburb, central commercial and residential zones.

Dr. He Linbo is Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Investment Department of China Investment Corporation (CIC), which is responsible for CIC's overseas private equity fund and direct investment in non-commodity sectors, real estate and credit opportunity. Previously, Dr. He has headed CIC's Fixed Income & Absolute Return Investment Department, Public Market Investment Department, and Asset Allocation and Strategic Research Department. Prior to joining CIC, Dr. He worked at a number of financial institutions in Germany including Commerzbank, HypoVereinsbank, Talanx Investment, etc. During that time he held senior management positions, such as Head of Jumbo-Pfandbriefe Trading, Head of Fixed Income Fund Management and Member of Investment Committee. Dr. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Peking University, Master of Managerial Engineering from Tsinghua University, both in China, and Dr. rer. pol. (in Finance) from University of Cologne, Germany.

Sebastian Heilmann is the founding director of the national Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin and professor for the political economy of China at the University of Trier, Germany. He has conducted research at a variety of institutions, including Harvard University’s Fairbank Center, the University of Oxford China Centre, and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. His research and publications focus on China’s political system and political economy. From 2010 to 2013, Heilmann was the principal investigator of a project group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research examining the industrial and technology policies of the People’s Republic of China. In 2014, Sebastian Heilmann was appointed as one of 15 German representatives to the German-Chinese Dialogue Forum. Heilmann has many years’ experience providing policy advice to the German government, state governments and political foundations.

Mr Herrmann joined Siemens in 1991 and was subsequently posted in Dhaka as Managing Director of Siemens Bangladesh. 1995, Mr. Herrmann assumed the position of Director of Corporate Strategy of Siemens China. In 2001, he became General Manager of Power Generation Joint Ventures China, and in 2002 General Manager of Power Generation Group. Mr. Herrmann held positions as Vice President of Siemens China and Vice President, Sales New Plants and Services – China, Siemens AG.

Lothar Herrmann assumed the position of CEO of Siemens Thailand in 2005. In February 2009 he was appointed President & CEO of Siemens Singapore. Since 2008, he also had regional management responsibilities for ASEAN and later ASEAN-Pacific Region, including responsibility for the Industry Sector business.

Mr. Herrmann also serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Foreign Investment Companies China, and Chairman of the German Chamber of Commerce in China-North, as well as Board member of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Shada Islam is Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, a leading independent think tank in Brussels. She launched FoE’s very successful Asia Programme in 2011 as well as the China Europe Forum. She is also responsible for the publication of policy briefs, commentaries and op-eds as well as the supervision of conferences, seminars and roundtable discussions.

Before joining Friends of Europe, Shada worked as Senior Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre, with special responsibility for Asia. Shada has worked in Brussels for 25 years as EU, NATO and WTO correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asia’s leading weekly news magazine as well as chief EU correspondent for the English language section of the German News Agency, dpa.

An experienced journalist and commentator, Shada specializes in geopolitical, economic and trade policy issues involving Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and the United States. She is a regular contributor to international publications and her extensive broadcast experience includes work for the BBC, Radio France Internationale and Radio Netherlands.

In 1995, Jia Xiaoju joined Qingdao Changlong Stationery Co. Ltd, in a time when the company was in the rise phase of start up. She has worked successively as General Manager Secretary, General Manger Office Director, Sales Department Manger and General Manager Assistant.

In 2008, Jia Xiaoju joined the Board of Directors and was unanimously appointed Deputy General Manager. She is now in charge of marketing and sales and dedicated to promote the company’s standardized management as management representative.

In the past 19 years, Jia Xiaoju led the reform activities of the company’s core technology and management system and played an important and positive role in helping the company obtaining honors like “China Top 10 Brands Stationery Enterprise”, “China Merit Stationery Enterprise”, etc.

Jin Canrong is a professor and Associate Dean with the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China. He was also a visiting professor at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, in 2003 and 2007, and the “Weilun” Chair Professor at Tsinghua University in 2006.

His education background includes a BA from Shanghai Fudan University in political science, a MA from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and a PhD from the School of International Studies at Peking University. Before joining Renmin University, he worked for the Institute of American Studies at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) from 1987 to 2002. His studies focus on American politics, American foreign policy, Sino-US relations and China’s foreign policy and his main publications include over 100 academic papers, over 600 articles for mass media, 7 books and 5 translated books.

Dr. Hubert Lienhard (born 1951) has a doctorate in chemistry. He began his career in 1981 with Lurgi GmbH. Between 1989 and 2001 Dr. Lienhard held a range of management posts within the ABB Group, and in 2001 he transferred to Voith and became a member of its Group Management Board. From 2002 until 2008 Dr. Lienhard headed the Voith Hydro group division, and since 2008 he has been Chairman of the Group Management Board.

Dr. Lienhard sits on several supervisory boards. He is a member of the Restricted Management Board of the VDMA, a member of the Board of Directors of the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV), a member of the German-Indian Advisory Group and a member of the German-Chinese Dialogue Forum. On 3 February 2014 Lienhard also took over the chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA).

Li Keqiang, born in July 1955, is a male ethnic Han from Dingyuan, Anhui Province. He entered the workforce in March 1974 and joined the CPC in May 1976. He graduated from the School of the Economics at Peking University with a major in economics, has an in-service postgraduate education and holds the degree of Doctor of Economics. He is currently a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and premier of the State Council.

Born in March 1945, Mr. Li Yizhong, a professorate senior engineer, was once Vice Chairman & Party Secretary of SASAC, Chairman & Secretary of Leading Party Group of State Administration of Work Safety as well as Minister and Secretary of Leading Party Group of the MIIT. He is now Vice Chairman of the Economic Committee & standing member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee and Chairman of CFIE. He was also the alternate member of the 14th and 15th CPC Central Committee and member of the 16th and 17th CPC Central Committee.

He graduated from Beijing Petroleum College in 1966 and has worked successively as Executive Deputy General Manager of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation as well as China Donglian Petrochemical Group Company, General Manager & Secretary of Leading Party Group of Sinopec Group and Chairman & Secretary of Leading Party Group of China Sinopec Corporation, Ltd.

Mr. Li Yunpeng is appointed as a Director of Board and the President of COSCO Group in July 2013. Before, he was an engineer on COSCO's vessels and served in COSCO Tianjin in several senior management positions in the Human Resources Department, Administration Department and Party Secretary Office.

After he joined COSCO Group, Mr. Li has taken various posts including Deputy General Manager of Executive Division, Deputy Secretary of Party Disciplinary Inspection Office, General Manager of Supervisory Division, Director of Organization Division, General Manager of Human Resources Division, Assistant to President, Party Committee Member, Director of Party Disciplinary Inspection Office and Executive Vice President of COSCO Group. With over 30 years' expertise in shipping industry, Mr. Li has rich experiences in corporate management, internal control and human resources development.

Mr. Li Yunpeng received his master's degree in ship and naval architectural design from Tianjin University.

Mei Yan joined Brunswick after a distinguished career with international media companies. As Senior Partner, she oversees Brunswick’s China business. Yan joined Brunswick from Viacom, where she was Managing Director of MTV Networks Greater China and Chief Representative of Viacom Asia. Previously, Yan held senior positions at Turner International Asia Pacific and News Corp.

Yan advises major global corporations on public affairs, government engagement, M&A, corporate reputation, as well as issues management. She provides counsel to senior management of both foreign companies in China and leaders of Chinese companies going global.

Yan worked as a journalist for ITN and CNN for more than a decade, winning three Emmy Awards. She is a Vice-Chair of the board of The Golden Bridges Foundation and a member of the 2005 Committee, the China Women’s Club and the Western Returned Scholars Association. Yan holds two master’s degrees from Columbia University, New York.

Fritz Horst Melsheimer was born in 1950. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the insurance sector. After his studies at the universities of Bochum, Würzburg and Hamburg he joined the Albingia Versicherung AG in 1978 and became member of the board in 1991. In 1993 Mr Melsheimer joined the Hamburg-Mannheimer Versicherungs-AG as board member. In addition, he became board member of ERGO Versicherungsgruppe AG. Mr Melsheimer was Chairman of the board of management of HanseMerkur Versicherungsgruppe until 2014. Currently, Mr Melsheimer is chairman of the supervisory board of HanseMerkur Insurance Group.

Furthermore he is President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, joint founder of Gesundheitsmetropole Hamburg e.V. (Health Metropolis Hamburg), Member of the advisory board of Deutsche Bundesbank – Hamburg headquarters, Member of the economic advisory council of HSH Nordbank AG and Vice-President of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).

Chairman of Chint Group Co., Ltd, Senior Economist, Member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Member of the Standing Committee of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, Chairman of Zhejiang Federation of Industry and Commerce.

In 1984, Mr. Nan founded Yueqing Qiujing Switch Factory. In 1991, he established the Sino-American joint venture – Wenzhou Chint Electrics Co., Ltd, as the Chairman of the Board. In 1994, Wenzhou Chint Group was established, which was renamed as “Chint Group Corporation” in 1995. In 2005, the corporation was renamed as “Chint Group Co., Ltd.”, and Mr. Nan has been the Chairman of the Board since. In 2010, Zhejiang Chint Electrics Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Group, was listed on Shanghai A-Stock market.

Mr. Nan was a former deputy to the 9th, 10th and 11th National People’s Congress.

Matthias Nass was born July 9, 1952 in Bevensen, Germany. From 1971 to 1974 he studied History, Chinese Studies and Communications at Goettingen University, followed by a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Hawaii. Back in Germany, he finished his studies in Hamburg. From 1978 to1982 he was Secretary of the German Association for Asian Studies and Editor of the quarterly „Asien“. Having completed the Hamburg School of Journalism, he became member of the Editorial Staff of DIE ZEIT with emphasis on East and Southeast Asia. From 1990 to 1997 he was Deputy Political Editor and Managing Editor of DIE ZEIT. From 1998 to 2010 he was Deputy Editor in Chief of DIE ZEIT. Since January 2011 Matthias Nass is Chief International Correspondent of DIE ZEIT.

Appointed in October 2013 as the head of Fast Growth Markets Organization, Neumann is leading the orchestration of investments and cross-organization strategy to grow SAP’s business in fast growing regions such as China, the Middle East and Russia. Part of SAP’s Senior Executive Team, Neumann is also continuing to lead the Global SAP Labs Network. Neumann has been with SAP for 18 years.

At present, he serves as a spokesperson of the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), a board member of the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV) and a member of the Indo-German advisory council of the Prime Minister of India and the German Chancellor. Furthermore he co-authored several books and articles on innovation and business practice in emerging markets.

Neumann holds a Diploma of the University of Applied Science in Ludwigshafen and an MBA degree from INSEAD, Fontainbleau and Singapore.

Astrid Oldekop is a German business journalist with over 30 years of experience in Chinese affairs. She founded MediaPoint Düsseldorf | Beijing in 2011. She has worked for, amongst others, the financial daily Handelsblatt (as an editor between 1999 and 2010), the weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche and the Berliner Morgenpost. 1995 she was awarded a grant under the International Journalists’ Programmes (IJP) in China and became the first foreign journalist on the editorial staff of China Daily.

As an events’ facilitator, Astrid Oldekop has frequently attended, hosted or chaired international congresses and discussion podiums in German, Chinese, English and French. As a consultant and trainer, she perfects Chinese and European managers’ skills, enabling them to face the challenges awaiting them in Europe and China.

Astrid Oldekop studied at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany, and at People’s University in Beijing, China. She holds a Master’s degree in Romance studies and German language and literature studies.

Stefan Sack was born in Hamburg on 9 March 1968. After five years at the European School in Brussels he obtained his Abitur in Hamburg where he later studied Physics at the Hamburg University and at DESY/Max-Planck-Society. In 1998 he obtained his PhD from Hamburg University.

From 1999 to 2004 he worked for McKinsey&Co at the company’s Hamburg office. In 2005 he relocated to China for a German electronics manufacturer overseeing two plants in Shenzhen and one in Beijing. In 2008 Stefan Sack moved to Shanghai where he first worked for VOITH Industrial Services as Managing Director and since 2011 in the automotive industry for COMAU, a subsidiary of the Italian FIAT Group, where he serves as the CEO for China and South East Asia.

Since 2009 Stefan Sack has held different positions in the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Since 2013 he is their national Vice President and Chairman for the Shanghai Chapter.

Jens-Peter Saul was born 1 July 1966 in Rheinhausen, Germany. He spent most of his childhood, youth and military service (Wehrdienst) in Hamburg.

After graduating in 1995 with a degree in energy and process technology engineering at the University of Hannover, Mr. Saul began his career at Siemens Power Generation in Offenbach. In 2002, he was appointed Director of Sales, New Plants and Services, Middle East.

In October 2005, he transferred to the UK to become Managing Director, Siemens Power Generation. In 2008, he was appointed Managing Director, Siemens Energy Sector UK and North West Europe. He became President and CEO of Siemens Global Wind Power Business Unit in 2010.

Jens-Peter Saul joined Rambøll Group as President and Group CEO in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2012. He is active as Chairman of the Danish-German Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Confederation of Danish Industry's Committee on Business Policy as well as a member of the Supervisory Board of Danske Commodities, a leading energy trading company with a strong presence in the German renewables market.

Olaf Scholz was born in Osnabrück in 1958 and graduated from the Hamburg University with a degree in law. In 1975 he joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) where he has held several senior positions including Deputy Chairman of the party’s youth organization and Secretary General of the party (2002-2004). Currently he is Vice Chairman of the German SPD and Chairman of the Hamburg SPD. He was Member of the German Bundestag (1998-2001, 2002-2011) holding senior positions in the SPD parliamentary group and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (2007-2009). In 2001 he served as Hamburg’s Minister of the Interior. Since 2011 Olaf Scholz is the First Mayor and President of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Nikolaus W. Schües was born in Hamburg in 1936. After his apprenticeship in the shipping business in Hamburg, London, Dublin and New York, he joined the shipping company F. Laeisz in 1961. Since 1973, he is general partner of F. Laeisz. As of 1986, he has been a member of the Plenary Assembly of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

He was elected Vice-President in 1990 and President in 1996. After his presidency he was reelected as Vice-President in 2002. From 1997 to 2005, Mr. Schües served as Vice-President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and between 2006 and 2013 he was a member of the Senior Committee of DIHK.

Dr. Margot Schüller is Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and Deputy Director of the GIGA, Institute of Asian Studies. She is a regular lecturer on Chinese and East Asian economics at universities in Germany and abroad and frequently consults governmental and private institutions. Her current research focuses on China’s economic development, especially the transition of the banking sector, China’s economic relations with neighbouring countries in Asia, China’s innovation system, and the globalization of Chinese companies.

http://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/team/sch%C3%BCller

Martin Schulz after high school did an apprenticeship as a bookseller. In 1982 he opened his own bookstore in Würselen, which he successfully ran for 12 years. Joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany at the age of 19, he at the age of 31 was elected as the youngest mayor of North Rhine-Westphalia, a post he held for 11 years.

Since 1994, Martin Schulz is a Member of the European Parliament and led the SPD MEPs from 2000, subsequently elected Vice-Chair of the Socialist MEPs. In 2004 he was elected group leader of the Socialist Group and from 2009- 2012 Chairman of the S&D Group, second largest group in the European Parliament. Martin Schulz was elected President of the European Parliament 2012 and the first President reelected 2014. He serves as Member to the SPD Bureau and Federal Executive (since 1999) and is the SPD Representative for EU Relations (since 2009).

After studying industrial engineering, Axel Schweitzer received his Dr.-Ing. degree in 1995. Since 1995 Schweitzer has been a member of the Board of Directors of the holding company of ALBA Group; since 2008 he has been Chairman of the Board of ALBA SE. With the change from a dualistic system to a monistic system in 2013, Schweitzer was selected as Chairman of the Administrative Board of ALBA SE.

Facing the increasing shortage of resources, he is convinced that the waste management sector is moving towards a raw materials generating industry.

Since 2013 Schweitzer is Member of the Speakers Team Greater China of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business.

As a native of Berlin, Schweitzer is socially committed to projects located in the German capital, esp. for KINDerLEBEN, a registered association which promotes a hospital in Berlin for children suffering from cancer, and ALBA BERLIN, the internationally well-known basketball club.

Born in July, 1963, Mr. Song Hailiang is a professor-level senior engineer with a PhD. He enjoys government subsidy and received honors including "Most Popular Entrepreneurs in 2008", "Top 10 Modern-management Entrepreneurs in Engineering Survey and Design”, etc.

Upon graduation in 1987 from Wuhan University, he served successively as engineer, Director, Dean, Chairman and General Manager of the Water Transport Planning and Design Institute of CCCC.

In August 2012, he was appointed Assistant to President of CCCC, Chairman & Party Secretary of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. He became VP of CCCC in January, 2014 and was appointed Chairman & President and Party Secretary of ZPMC in March, 2014. He also holds other positions like Vice Chairman of Water Transportation and Construction Industry Association, President of the Council of Water Transport Engineering, and Independent Director of Rizhao Port and Ningbo Port.

Born in Detmold, Germany in 1956, Dr Frank Walter Steinmeier obtained a law degree in 1986 and embarked upon a career in politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. After serving as Head of the Office of the Minister-President of Land Lower Saxony from 1993 to 1994, he took charge of the department in the Lower Saxon State Chancellery responsible for policy guidelines and interministerial coordination and planning, where he remained until 1996. From 1996 to 1998 he held the position of State Secretary and Head of the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony, becoming State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery and Commissioner for the Federal Intelligence Services in 1998. In 1999 he became the Head of the Federal Chancellery, a position he held for the next six years. Afterwards he became Head of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party which he chaired until end of 2013. Since December 2013, Dr Steinmeier is serving for the second time as Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Sabine Stricker-Kellerer is advising on legal aspects of doing business in China, based on her 25 years of experience on China business matters and monitoring speed and shape of recent developments. She was the first lawyer to set up a presence for a continental European law firm in China back in 1985. As Senior China Counsel of the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, she divides her time between Germany and China. She is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), and a member of the German Chinese Dialogue Forum. She studied law in Munich, Geneva and Harvard.

Before joining NXP Semiconductors in 2009, Ruediger Stroh led LSI’s storage peripherals business, overseeing silicon solutions for hard disk and solid state drives. He assumed his position as Executive Vice President at LSI as part of the merger with Agere Systems, where he headed Agere’s storage division.

Prior to Agere, he served as CEO for a number of start-up companies including start-ups focused on storage area networks and wireless LAN as well as a nano-materials.
Ruediger Stroh began his career at Siemens AG where he held multiple management positions before joining Infineon Technologies and participating in the company’s IPO as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Network and Computer Storage, Data Communication and Consumer business. Ruediger Stroh holds a diploma in Industrial Engineering and Management of the University of Applied Sciences of the Saarland, Germany.

Sun Yi, born in Shanghai, learned German at an elite boarding school in Shanghai. After her first degree in German literature she obtained a master’s degree in Economics and Business Studies (Diplom-Kauffrau) in Germany. In 2006, Sun Yi joined EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and in 2011 she became the first Chinese native speaker to work as a partner in a Big Four audit firm in Germany and the youngest partner at EY. Alongside her role as partner in Transaction Advisory Services, Sun also leads EY’s China Business Services in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. She has more than 10 years of experience in cross-border business with China and, with her team, has acted as an advisor to most landmark transactions by Chinese investors in Europe during the last six years.

After graduating from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1978 with a degree in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding, Tor Svensen subsequently received a Ph.D. from that very university in 1983. In 1989, he joined The Norwegian Maritime Research Institute as Head of the Ship Division with responsibility for the ship model testing and design development work. He joined DNV in 1993 and occupied the position of Head of Section for Environmental Loads, Regional Manager in South East Asia, Technical Director and eventually became Chief Operating Officer of DNV Maritime. After having presented DNV as its President and Deputy CEO for Maritime and Oil & Gas, Tor E. Svensen was announced CEO of DNV GL Maritime when DNV and GL SE merged in 2013.

Marc Szepan is Co-Director of the Economy and Business Research Area of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), Berlin, Germany. Concurrent to his position at MERICS, Marc Szepan is a doctoral candidate at Saïd Business School and a member of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Previously, Szepan served as Senior Vice President, Airline Operations Solutions, at Lufthansa Systems AG, the IT services business segment of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. He led the global multi-business unit aviation services business with a team based in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and the United States. His professional experience also includes leading positions at Lufthansa Technik AG and assignments in the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, including General Manager of a Chinese-German joint venture. In 2012, Szepan was named one of Aviation Week & Space Technology’s “40 Under Forty: Rising Stars of Aerospace and Aviation”.

Szepan was educated in the United States. He earned a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business where he completed the Global Executive MBA program.

Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Thies, born in 1951, studied Power Engineering at RWTH Aachen, followed by his doctorate at Institut für Allgemeine Elektrotechnik und Hochspannungstechnik. In 1999 Dr. Thies started as Deputy Managing Director of the DKE (German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE), followed with the nomination as Chairman of the Board of Directors in May 2007. Since October 2008 Dr. Bernhard Thies holds lectures at the RWTH Aachen “Protective Measures and Equipment in Power Supply Systems and Electrical Installations” (Master Studies Electrical Power Engineering.) In his capacity as Secretary of the German National Committee of IEC and CENELEC Dr. Thies also represents German interests in various Management Committees. In March 2014 he was elected as Chairman for the External Relations Committee of CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. In Januar 2015 Dr. Thies will start his duties as the incoming CENELEC President; his CENELEC presidency will last from 2016 until 2018.

Dr. Richard Weber, born 1944 in Germany, is the president of EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. An entrepreneur himself, he has been the executive associate of the “Karlsberg Brauerei KG Weber” brewery in Homburg/Saar since 1983. He is also the president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Saarland and a former president of the Brewers of Europe (1992-1996). After completing his studies in economics at the University of Innsbruck, he started his career at BSN (today Danone) in Paris. Since 2004, Dr Richard Weber is a member of the French order of merit (Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur) and since 2005 he holds the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

During his consulting career, Wu has spearheaded a broad range of projects in aviation, shipping, logistics, tourism, finance, durable consumer goods, equipment, IT, trade, government industries and development strategy, organization management, sales and marketing (especially brand strategy), post M&A integration, globalization and international M&A. Wu’s extensive list of positive references shows his successful track record in creating strong development and reform strategies for China's large state-owned enterprises (SOE).

Mr. Wu Qi has 16 years of consulting experience and 4 years of financial industry expertise. He joined Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Greater China in 1995 after working in two large investment companies. He is now in charge of the Transportation, Logistics and Tourism Competence Center. In addition, he is heading the functional practices of strategic branding, corporate finance and supply chain management in Greater China.

Born in February 1959, Xu Lejiang is an alternate member of 17th, 18th CPC Central Committee and a professor-level senior engineer. He is Chairman of Baosteel Group Corporation, Chairman of China Iron & Steel Association and Vice Chairman of Chinese Society for Metals.

He joined Baosteel in 1982, and successively worked as Deputy Plant Director, Plant Director, and Assistant to President. From 1994 to 2006, he was VP and later President of Baosteel Group. He was appointed Chairman in January 2007.

During his tenure, Baosteel Group has vigorously promoted the modern enterprise system; gradually improved its decision-making process, risk control and internal control mechanisms; progressively completed an internal financial control system; remarkably improved its overall competitiveness in its core steel business and relevant diversified businesses by mergers and consolidations.

Xu Ningyue serves currently as Vice President and Chief Corporate Banking Officer of Bank of Beijing (BOB). He joined BOB in January 1996 and has served as Vice President of BOB since March 2005. He concurrently served as Branch Manager of Zhongguancun Regional Branch since April 2012 and Chief Corporate Banking Officer of BOB since July 2006. He served as Assistant President of BOB (concurrently as General Manager of Zhongkeyuan District Office of BOB and Branch Manager of Zhongkeyuan Branch) from May 2000 to March 2005; Branch Manager of Yanjing Branch of BOB from May 1998 to May 2000 and Branch Manager of Chang’an Branch of BOB from January 1996 to May 1998. He served as Vice Director and Director of Beijing Chang’an Urban Credit Cooperative from May 1994 to December 1995 and held managerial positions in several enterprises and Business Development Department of All-China Federation of Trade Union from October 1977 to August 1993. Mr. Xu is an economist with an MBA from Xiamen University.

Mr. Yang Qing, Senior Engineer, Executive Vice President of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). Mr. Yang graduated with a B.S in thermal power from North China Electric Power University in 1982.

He worked in power planning and design institute, Ministry of Water and Electricity, Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Electricity. He then worked as Executive Vice President of China Power International Investment Limited, President of Tianjin Electric Power Company and Executive Vice President of China Datang Group. He has been working in the power sector for more than 30 years and has rich experience in power planning and management.

Mr. Yao Shenhong, born in Shanghai, studied at the China Foreign Affairs University and Nankai University, and achieved a master degree on international economics. Mr. Yao started to work for the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) from 1986, then transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic cooperation of China (MOFTEC), and worked for the Bo’ao Asia Forum for three years. Mr. Yao worked at the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) as Vice Director of Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Vice Director of Department of Information Technology, and held concurrent post of Vice Director of Information Office and spokesman. In 2008 he went back to the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) as Director-General. Mr. Yao acted as Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the China Association of Trade in Services (CATIS) from November, 2008.

Mr. YI Xiaozhun has been a Deputy Director-General at the World Trade Organization since October 2013. He oversees the Market Access, Intellectual Property, Economic Research and Statistics, and Trade in Services Divisions.

He has a vast amount of work experience in world trade and economics, both as a senior government official and as the Ambassador of China to the WTO. He represented China as a key negotiator during the entire process of China's WTO accession.

Prior to his tenure as the Chinese WTO Ambassador, Mr. Yi was the Chinese Assistant Minister and, subsequently, Vice Minister of Commerce in charge of multilateral and regional trade negotiation and cooperation. He played a leading role in negotiating numerous Chinese Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). He also worked as a diplomat at the Chinese Embassy in the USA for more than four years from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Mr. Yi obtained a master's degree in Economics from the Nankai University of China in 1999.

Mr. Zhang Xiangui, born in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province, China, is CEO of WISCO (Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp) International Tailored Blanks GmbH since 2012. In 1984, he obtained a bachelor’s degree of majoring in iron and steel metallurgy from Beijing Iron and Steel College. After graduation he began his career at NO.2 Steelmaking Plant of Wuhan Steel and Iron Corp. where he worked for about 17 years. From 1997 to 2001, he was the deputy director at NO.2 Steelmaking Plant of Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp. In 2001, he was assigned as head of planning and management department of Wuhan Iron and Steel Company Limited (a listed WISCO’s holding subsidiary). In the following 11 years, he successively worked as head of administrative department, production manager, head of silicon-steel division, director of Integral Steelmaking Plant of WISCO as well as vice chief-engineer of WISCO. In addition, he took office as deputy director of National Si-Steel Engineering Center from 2009 to 2010.

Zhang Xiaogang, PhD of Engineering, is the President of Ansteel Group Corporation (Ansteel).  Zhang Xiaogang was elected new President of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) in September 2013. His term will begin from January 1st 2015 to December 31st 2017, which is the first time for Chinese to serve the highest position of international organization. Meanwhile he is currently a member of the Experts Group of China Standardization Committee, Chairman of the Rolling Society of Chinese Society for Metals, Director of China Low-Alloy Steel Academic Committee. From October 2011 to October 2012, he had been the Chairman of World Steel Association (worldsteel). From February 2007 to February 2009 he had been the Chairman of CISA (China Iron and Steel Association).

Zhou Zhongshu is a senior international business engineer and graduated from Shanghai Foreign Studies University. He was Attaché of the Chinese Embassy Commercial Counselor to Chile and the Chinese Embassy Commercial Counselor to Spain. Zhou became President of Minmetals in 2004 and Chairman in 2014.

Under his leadership, Minmetals has been among Fortune Global 500 companies for eight years, ranking 133rd in 2014, 2nd among Metal Companies. Zhou was named “Top 10 Leaders of the Metals and Mining Industry” among “the 100 Economic Personages in 30 Years' Reform and Opening up” by China Economic Weekly, “25 Most Influential Business Leaders in China” by Fortune magazine and “Top 50 Entrepreneurs of Listed Companies in China” by Harvard Business Review.

His other positions include: CPPCC National Committee member, Presidium Member of CFIE, Vice-Chairman of CCIIP, China Chamber of International Commerce and the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee, etc.

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