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The “Hamburg Summit's” programme consisted of expert panels and keynote speeches. The conference design invited the active participation of the audience in open discussions and fostered a vivid exchange among all participants. The final conference programme is available here.

The following topics were covered at the "Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe" 2014:

Despite the dynamic and thriving economic relations between China and Europe, the knowledge gaps about the society, culture and last but not least the political system of the respective counterpart remain large. These gaps have not only allowed old stereotypes to persist, but create room for new misperceptions as the Sino-European relations evolve.

While some of the stereotypes and misperceptions might do no harm, others have the potential to distort the relationship between China and Europe. Even though the problem has been known for a long time, current instruments to overcome stereotypes have shown little effect.

This panel will discuss ways to overcome stereotypes and misperceptions, broad roadmaps as well as concrete measures that would allow China and Europe to move a step forward in achieving a deeper mutual understanding.

Only a small number of Chinese companies have successfully entered international markets and have successfully established globally recognised brands. Many Chinese brands have remained less visible for international consumers, but are making enormous strides in fast-moving consumer goods markets within their own country. Similarly, even China’s top export brands, such as manufacturers of household appliances or leading telecommunications manufacturers, struggle to develop truly global brands and are just now in process of positioning their brands in global markets. What strategies need to be implemented for Chinese brands to gain international recognition and to successfully enter global markets? This panel will discuss the challenges Chinese brands are facing.

Increasing outbound investment from China has been a major structural trend in recent years, and this is only the beginning. Given the EU’s open markets, Chinese overseas foreign direct investments are expanding rapidly across Europe. Chinese firms are increasingly diversifying their investment targets and climbing up the value chain. Setting up new factories, their acquisition of well-known brands and technology positions them on European markets but also serves to compete back home in China. This panel will discuss the motives, strategies, trends and implications of Chinese investment in Europe.

China’s role in global governance is one of the defining questions of global politics in the 21st century. Some observers complain that China has so far shown only very partial involvement in global issues. Others fear that with China’s constantly growing economic power it will challenge the existing set of global governance institutions by creating new alternative frameworks. Currently, global governance faces severe gridlock and the international demand for China to assume more responsibility in global governance is high. How can the US and the EU provide space and encourage China to become more involved in issues affecting global politics? What potential does China have to give new impulses to global governance?

In the last three decades, China’s economic growth has mainly been driven by investment and export. However, with the outbreak of the global financial crisis, this growth model has become unsustainable. China’s export sector has lost its momentum, and economic growth has become ever more dependent on investment – a development that has resulted in overcapacities and a growing amount of non-performing loans. To create a more sustainable growth model, China’s authorities plan to promote domestic consumption and foster innovation to allow for increases in productivity. To achieve these goals, a range of reforms that would boost the spending power of consumers and strengthen the role of private companies is needed. China’s policymakers have thus designed an ambitious reform agenda that puts a premium on financial system liberalisation and a restructuring of the fiscal system. This panel discusses China’s reform strategy and its implications for the activities of European companies engaged in China.

China and Europe trade over 1 bn Euro a day and trade remains the primary driver not only of China-EU relations but also of China’s bilateral relationships with various European countries. While major trade disputes, ranging from solar panel cases to wine and steel tubes cases seem to have been settled recently, not all is rosy. Contagious issues include the implementation of conflict settlement deals, China’s market economy status, reciprocal market access, subsidies and transparency, as the ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive EU-China investment agreement show. This panel will provide an outlook on the future of EU-China trade relations. It discusses the opportunities for Chinese and European companies to untap existing potential in bilateral trade relations as well as China’s and the EU’s strategies in tackling thorny trade policy issues. What are the challenges lying ahead on the long road towards agreements on free trade and trade in services?

Over the past 30 years, urbanisation has become one of the most significant developments in China. 54 % of the Chinese population already live in cities and the government’s objective for 2020 is to raise this number to 60 % by transforming the Chinese society into a modern, urban one. This implicates enormous social, political and environmental challenges. In order to successfully restructure Chinese cities, tremendous investments in sustainable infrastructure projects, in traffic solutions and e-mobility, as well as in recycling, are needed. The Chinese government’s shift towards a more people-centred urbanisation strategy will also lead to a stronger demand for services from the tertiary sector, such as health care, education and services related to an ageing society. This panel will discuss the different facets of China’s urbanisation strategy and how European companies can contribute to it.

Environmental pollution, including heavy smog, poor-quality drinking water and toxic land is the price China is paying for its rapid economic growth during the last decades. China’s environmental problems and its noxious effects on public health are one of the drivers behind China’s planned shift towards a greener and more sustainable model of economic development. Considering the enormous energy demand of China’s heavy as well as manufacturing industry, the shift from fossil to renewable energy sources presents a great and long-term challenge for the country. What technological as well as regulatory strategies will China need to implement to boost the proportion of renewable energy in its overall energy mix? How can European companies support China with know-how and technologies and assist them in achieving their goal of greener economic development? This panel will discuss solutions to China’s environmental problems and explore the great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between Europe and China with regard to environmentally efficient and effective approaches.

We look forward to welcome you to "The Hamburg Summit". Please click here to request more information.

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We look forward to welcoming you to "The Hamburg Summit". Please click here to receive more information.

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Autumn 2018

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