Corinne Abele has been living and working in China for nearly 20 years. An experienced journalist and economist, she has documented China´s economic development with analyses, articles and lectures. A big part of her work focuses on the observation and analysis of innovation-driven technology markets and industrial digitisation in China. Her other main topics are environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and competition in China.

Since 2014, Ms Abele has been heading the Trade Information Section of Germany Trade & Invest in Shanghai. Prior to this, she worked in the same position in Beijing (2004–2012) and in Taipei (1998–2004).

Ms Abele graduated from the University of Tübingen in economics (diploma) and eastern european history (MA) with a scholarship from the German National Student Foundation. She was also a scholar of the Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach foundation, which enabled her to study Chinese at Nanjing University from 1992 to 1993.

Bernhard Bartsch is Senior Expert in Bertelsmann Stiftung’s program “Germany and Asia“. Before joining the foundation, he spent more than a decade in China, working as East Asia Correspondent for major German media.

Bernhard Bartsch studied Chinese, Economics, Politics and Journalism in Hamburg, Beijing and London. His career as a journalist began in the Beijing office of German business weekly “Wirtschaftswoche“. Between 2003 and 2013, he worked as a correspondent for several German language media, including the daily newspapers “Neue Zuercher Zeitung”, “Berliner Zeitung” and the business journal “brand eins”. He reported about political, social, economic and cultural issues in China, Japan, South and North Korea as well as other countries in East Asia.

In 2013, Bernhard Bartsch joined Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Asia team where he continues to wrap his brain around the political, economic and social developments in Asia and their impact on Germany and Europe.

Reinhard Bütikofer is a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP). He sits on the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) as a full member and on the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) as a substitute member. He is the Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China as well as a member of the delegation to the United States and a substitute member of the ASEAN Delegation.

Before getting elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Bütikofer was the Co-Chair of the German Green Party BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN (from 2002 until 2008). He was the party’s Secretary General from 1998 until 2002. Prior to that, he served as the Chair of the Greens in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.

Mr Bütikofer is also member of the Europe/Transatlantic Advisory Board and the General Assembly of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the NABU Club, the board of the Green European Foundation as well as the German–Israeli Society and the German–Chinese Dialogue Forum.

Victor Chu was born in Canton, China and came to Hong Kong at the age of four. He received his early education in Hong Kong and England, and took his law degree at University College London. Mr. Chu is admitted to practise law in England and Hong Kong since 1982.

Mr. Chu is Chairman of First Eastern Investment Group, a leading Hong Kong-based international investment firm and a pioneer of private equity investments in China.

Victor Chu has served as Director and Council Member of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Advisory Committee Member of the Securities and Futures Commission, and part-time member of Hong Kong Government’s Central Policy Unit. Mr. Chu has served as a Foundation Board Member of the World Economic Forum from 2003 to 2015 and currently co-chairs the Forum’s International Business Council. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Chu served on the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris where he also chaired the ICC Commission on Financial Services and Insurance.


Mr. Chu was awarded the 2011 Global Economy Prize by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. 

Nathalie Errard was appointed as SVP Head of Europe and NATO Affairs at Airbus at the beginning of 2012. Prior to this position, Nathalie served as SVP Head of Investor Relations and Financial Communication and was in charge of the Group’s financial communication from April 2008 to the beginning of 2012. She had been part of the investor relations department since the end of 2005. Nathalie began her career as an external auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1995. She joined the mergers and acquisitions team at Aérospatiale in 1998 to participate in the merger with Matra and the creation of EADS (previous name of Airbus). From mid 2000 to the end of 2005, Nathalie held several positions in the mergers and acquisitions and business development teams at Technicolor in France and in the US. Her major projects included doubling of revenue at the California subsidiary; establishing a TV manufacturing joint venture with TCL in China; and disposal of the cathode ray tube business to the Indian company Videocon. Nathalie also served as the head of Thomson’s corporate audit for Europe and Asia. Nathalie holds a degree from France’s Institut Mines-Télécom business school.

Peter Helis, founder and managing director of Helis & Associates, has gained 15 years of professional experience in China.  Born and raised in Germany, he graduated in Chinese studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London before he settled in Hong Kong.  There, Peter Helis was the Sales Director for several multinational corporations.  After working as General Manager of the German Industry   & Commerce in   Guangzhou, he established the consulting firm Helis & Associates.Speaking Mandarin and Cantonese fluently, Peter Helis is a communicator between the two cultures. He is well connected with both the business community and the local governments.

Dr. Dinglong Huang is co-founder and CEO of Malong Technologies, Co. Ltd.
Dinglong obtained his doctorate degree from Tsinghua University, and majored in Human-Computer Interaction (studied with American Academy of Engineering member Gavriel Salvendy). Dinglong previously worked as an intern researcher at Google, product manager and the director of products at Microsoft MSN, the director of business products, and Vice President of products at TripAdvisor in China. He met his co-founder, Matt Scott, at Microsoft where at the time, they both worked together to build the “Bing Dictionary” project. At Tencent, Dinglong led several products such as “Micro-Space” and “Stream Ads“. After joining TripAdvisor, he led the product and marketing team to launch their new application for mobile, which ranked top ten at the AppStore Travel category in only 3 months (which used to be less than 150), and the Android version which generated more than a million downloads each week. Dinglong is an adjunct master instructor of the Computer Science department in Tsinghua University, also, a life mentor of the Industrial Engineering Department. He specializes in Internet product design & management, user experience design, and market-oriented products. In 2017, Dinglong won a provincial award for his contribution on the AI industry in China.

Mikko Huotari is the deputy director of MERICS and heads the programme on China’s foreign relations. His research focuses on China’s foreign policy, China–Europe relations and regional order in Asia. He has published extensively on China’s global investment strategy and economic relations with Europe, as well as on geopolitical shifts related to China’s rise as a global security player. Before joining MERICS, Huotari taught international political economy and Chinese foreign policy at the University of Freiburg. During his studies of international politics and international law in Freiburg, Nanjing and Shanghai, he gained experience in policy-oriented China research at the German-Chinese Law Institute in Nanjing, the German Embassy in Beijing and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin.

Henrik Isaksen is founder and majority shareholder of GreenMobility. Mr. Isaksen has successfully founded and sold a number of companies in the car- and finance sector. His prior experience includes managing positions at GE Capital, Daimler AG etc. One of Henrik Isaksen’s startups was Clever A/S, which today manages the biggest charging network for electric vehicles in the Nordic region, also AutoLease, sold to DNB, which today is one of the biggest automotive leasing operators in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Ragnar Kruse is the CEO and co-founder of Smaato. Since 2005, he has built Smaato into the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange, with over 90,000 publishers and app developers and more than 450 demand partners delivering ads to over one billion unique mobile users per month around the world. He has raised USD 50 million from prestigious investors such as Aeris Capital, EDBI Singapore, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and business angels.

As a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ experience in IT, Mr Kruse understands the unique challenges in bringing new technologies to market. He has built up several companies from inception to market launch in the US and Europe.

At Intershop Communications, a leader in e-commerce software solutions, Mr Kruse was VP of Sales and Marketing in San Francisco. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the company’s growth, ushering it through a successful IPO on NASDAQ and the ‘Neuer Markt’ in 1998, while helping the company to grow from five employees to more than 1,000.

Thomas is a practising lawyer with more than 32 years of experience in energy, transport, infrastructure, dispute resolution and privatisation projects. He also has vast litigation experience in various market sectors and several international commercial and investment arbitration cases. Thomas has been engaged as project director and team leader inter alia for EU-funded projects like INOGATE and TRACECA that aim at the facilitation of infrastructure investments in Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe for the transportation of oil and gas from Central Asia and Caspian Basin to Europe as well as trade facilitation, cross-border procedure harmonisation, dispute resolution mechanisms and multimodal transportation systems. At present, Thomas is leading a number of high-profile privatisation and concession projects, including the privatisation of ten major ports in Greece and the Hellenic Petroleum privatisation process.

A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Professor Mainelli gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor. He began his career as a research scientist, later becoming an accountancy-firm partner and a director of Ministry of Defence research.  During a spell in merchant banking in 1994, he co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank. He has led Z/Yen from creating smart ledgers (aka blockchains) through Global Financial Centres Index, Global Green Finance Index, Global Intellectual Property Index, and Long Finance. He is an Alderman of the City of London, a non-executive director of two listed firms and a regulator, Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, Fellow of Goodenough College, and Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders. His third book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions (鱼价引爆经济学:真实商业有多难), won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize.

After completing his studies in computer science and the supplementary subject of economics at the University of Hamburg, Jens Meier started his professional career at Software Design & Management AG (Ernst & Young group).

In 2000, he was appointed divisional manager of Systematics AG (later EDS). From July 2002 onwards, Jens Meier was CEO of tts Holding GmbH & Co. KG, where he was in charge of IT, finances and international logistics. Upon the sale of the tts group to Fiege in 2006, he was appointed to the board of directors of Fiege Holding Stiftung & Co. KG, Greven. 

Since April 1st, 2008 Jens Meier has been serving as CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA).

He is an alumnus of the Young Business People at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and senator of the Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade where he represents the logistics industry. In 2006, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg appointed him to the board of trustees of the Logistics Initiative Hamburg.

Mr. Merirands began his professional career at the Energy Department of the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia in 2001.  During his employment there, he worked as a Head of Electricity and Gas Market Unit, Deputy Director of Energy Department, dealing with issues related to legal framework of energy markets, international cooperation and energy security and as a Director of Energy Department. In 2013 he was transferred to the position of a deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Transport in charge of railway, aviation and road transport sector as well as transport and communications security. Mr. Merirands has an academic master’s degree in legal science, as well as an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Baltic Sea region issues. 

Professor Eberhard Sandschneider holds a chair in Chinese politics and international relations at Freie Universität Berlin. Between 2003 and 2016, he was the ‘Otto Wolff Director’ at the research institute of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). Since 2014, he has served as one of the two deans of the Bucerius Summer School on Global Governance in Hamburg. In 2017, he joined Berlin Global Advisors (BGA) as a partner.

Between 1995 and 1998, he was a professor of international relations at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. After moving to Freie Universität Berlin in October 1998, he became the managing director of the Otto Suhr Institute from October 1999 to March 2001  and served as dean of the Department of Political and Social Sciences from 2001 to 2003.

Eberhard Sandschneider’s books include Global Rivals: China’s Uncanny Rise and the Helplessness of the West and Europe’s Successful Descent: Giving Away Power Today in Order to Win Tomorrow.

He was promoted to full professor with his work The Stability and Transformation of Political Systems (1993) and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Military and Politics in the People’s Republic of China 1969–1986 (1986).

Helga Maria Schmid has been shaping the European Union's foreign and security policy for over a decade. As a German diplomat, she has served as political adviser to Foreign Ministers Klaus Kinkel and Joschka Fischer and was Head of Fischer's cabinet from 2003 to 2005. That same year, Ms. Schmid joined the EU institutions as Director of the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit under Javier Solana, the former High Representative of the EU for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. After the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the EU, in 2011, Ms. Schmid became its Deputy Secretary General and Political Director. In September 2016, High Representative Federica Mogherini appointed her as Secretary-General of the EEAS.

Dr. Margot Schüller is an associate and China expert at the Institute of Asian Studies at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. She lectures regularly on Chinese and East Asian economies at universities in Germany and abroad and frequently advises governmental and private institutions. Dr Schüller’s current research focuses on China’s transition to a new industrial development model, China’s innovation system and policies and the globalisation of Chinese companies. On behalf of the GIGA, she coordinates the Asia-Pacific Research Area (APRA) monitoring project that analyses national and regional innovation performance. Dr Schüller is also a member of the Sino-German Innovation Platform, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Kurt Sievers is president of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ: NXPI). In this role, he oversees all NXP business lines, including automotive, industrial and IoT, mobile, and communications infrastructure. Since 2008, he has led the worldwide NXP automotive business as executive vice president and general manager. At the founding of NXP in 2006, he was responsible for strategy and business development in the automotive and secure identification businesses.Mr Sievers serves as a member of the board of the Central Association of the German Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry (ZVEI). He is also a member of the supervisory boards for AENEAS and PENTA, a key role that shapes European private–public R&D programmes in the field of microelectronics. He chairs the advisory board for the electronica trade fair. He is also the managing director of NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH.Mr Sievers started his career in 1995 at Philips Semiconductors. He holds a master’s degree in physics and information technology.

Dr Angela Stanzel is a senior policy fellow in the Asia programme of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). She is also the editor of China Analysis, a quarterly analytical survey of Chinese news and debate published by the ECFR. Alongside China’s foreign policy and EU–China relations, her research work focuses on South Asia in the context of China’s rise. She is the author of a range of publications and a frequent commentator in international media. Before joining the ECFR in 2014, Angela worked for the BMW Foundation and the International Affairs Office of the Koerber Foundation in Berlin. Prior to that, she worked in Brussels for the German Marshall Fund of the United States (Asia programme) and in Beijing for the German embassy (cultural section) as well as for several event and marketing firms. Angela Stanzel earned her PhD in Sinology at Freie Universität Berlin in 2013. She has also been a member of the Young China Watchers (YCW) in Berlin since 2015.

Dr Sabine Stricker-Kellerer advises on legal aspects of doing business in China based on her 30 years of experience in Chinese business and legal matters. She was the first lawyer to set up an office for a European law firm in China back in 1985. Dr Stricker-Kellerer is Chairperson of the International Advisory Committee of the German Federal Minister of Economics, member of the Sino-German Dialogue Forum. She is active as an international arbitrator with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and other Asian arbitration institutions. She studied law in Munich, Geneva and Harvard.

Dr Peter Tschentscher was born on 20 January 1966 in Bremen. Beginning in 1987, after secondary school and civil service, he studied medicine with postgraduate studies in molecular biology in Hamburg, which he completed with a Doctor of Medicine in 1995. This was followed by a habilitation in 2008. Until 2011, he was a senior physician at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Peter Tschentscher joined the SPD as a student. From 2008 until 2011, he was deputy chair and financial policy spokesman of the SPD faction in the Hamburg parliament. In 2011, he was named minister of finance in the Hamburg senate.

On 28 March 2018, the Hamburg parliament elected Peter Tschentscher as the first mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. He is the plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany for German–French cultural cooperation with the rank of minister of state.

Margrethe Vestager is EU Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011-14) and Minister for Education (1998-2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council during the Danish EU Presidency (2012). She was Political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993-95). Ms. Vestager holds an MSc in Economics (University of Copenhagen).

Henning Vöpel has been director and CEO of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) since 2014. In 2010, he was appointed as Professor of Economics at HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration. His research areas include business cycle analysis, fiscal and monetary policy as well as the digital economy.

After studying economics at the University of Hamburg, Professor Vöpel completed his doctorate in 2004 on the topic of the stabilisation effects of fiscal policy. At the same time, he worked as a research associate in the Faculty of Business and Economics. For the next two years, he worked as an independent business consultant.

In 2006, Professor Vöpel twice took part in the joint economic forecast of the leading economic research institutes on behalf of the German government. In 2009, he was invited by the US Department of State to carry out research in locations such as Washington DC, San Francisco and Boston (Harvard and MIT) as part of the International Young Leadership Programme.

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 14 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.

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 was Vice Chairman of the Economic Committee & standing member of the 12th CPPCC National Committee. 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 is now Chairman of CFIE.

He graduated from Beijing Petroleum College in 1966 and has worked successively as Deputy General Manager,Executive Deputy General Manager of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, General Manager, Chairman & Secretary of Leading Party Group of Donglian Petrochemical Group, General Manager & Secretary of Leading Party Group of Sinopec Group and Chairman & Secretary of Leading Party Group of China Sinopec Corporation, Ltd. He sits as Chairman and Executive President of the Presidium of CFIE since April 2011.

Li Zheng has built a successful track record in the semiconductor industry for 25 years. Prior to joining NXP in March 2014, Li held a variety of management positions including Chairman & CEO of Renesas Electronics, Greater China and most recently, Senior Vice President of worldwide marketing for SMIC Corp.
Li holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration Engineering from China’s Tianjin University and a master’s degree in Economics from Tokyo University. He served as a Director of the Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association (CASPA) and the President of the Shanghai branch, while working in Silicon Valley in the United States.
NXP Semiconductors is the world’s leading IC design and manufacturing company, ranking first globally in automotive electronics, information security and high-power RF. Extensive collaborations have been formed between NXP and industry players in China, especially in the fields of automobile intellectualization, electrification and AI-IoT.

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Guests of honour 2016

Liu Yandong, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China

Guests of honour 2016

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission

Guests of honour 2016

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany

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