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Sino-German conference reaps bumper harvest

The 2018 Sino-German SME Cooperation & Communication Conference held in Shandong's Jinan city from Oct 31-Nov 2 turned into a bonanza for business delegations.
This year's event attracted 170 foreign political and business guests and over 550 company representatives, and featured accomplished guests in the largest-ever number. 
Companies attending the event expressed their intention to cooperate in 39 projects and to reach initial agreement in a further eight. A total of 27 Sino-foreign cooperative projects worth 21.44 billion yuan ($3.12 billion) were signed at the event, covering investment, talent recruitment, industry and technology. 
The 27 projects included 21 industry and technology cooperation projects and six focused on talent-attraction. Eight projects will settle down in the Sino-German SMEs Cooperation Zone in Jinan.
Moreover, the industry planning of the Sino-German SMEs Cooperation Zone and Urban Designing Plan were issued at the conference. The planning, with a focus on the airport-related high-tech manufacturing industry, prioritizes the necessity of overcoming bottlenecks in aviation and the auto and railway industries, and building a platform for the communication, transfer and industrialization of global cutting-edge technologies through forging a smart manufacturing cluster.
The conference invited domestic and foreign experts to share insights on smart city development, green German community planning and smart SME development driven by industrial capital, with the aim of offering guidance to the construction of a Sino-German SME Cooperation Zone.
Some international cooperation institutes also popularized themselves during the event, including the Sino-German Communication & Cooperation Association, the Shandong Eurasia Enterprise Exchange & Cooperation Center, the China SME Center (Germany), the German Chamber of Commerce and the German-Chinese Business Association.
"The wheat can be made into beer and high-end glass. We are now looking for partners in Jinan," said Robert Frank, the director of Dresden's Office of Economic Development, promoting German technology at the conference. Dresden set up a pavilion for German companies and sent a 16-member delegation to the event.
Frank was familiar with the Jinan innovation zone, which has established a Dresden-Jinan cooperation office in his city to facilitate the industrial collaboration between Dresden and Jinan. "There is great potential for cooperation between the two sides, as Dresden is an important high-tech industrial base for micro-electronics, new material and bio-medicine in Europe, while the Jinan innovation zone enjoys advantages in software, information and bio-medical sectors. The zone also has established a string of cooperation platforms to support the development of German companies in Jinan," he said.
Festo, a worldwide leader in automation technology, opened a production center in Jinan 10 years ago. To better serve Festo and other German enterprises, the innovation zone joined hands with Festo and Shandong Yingcai University on a Sino-Europe training base for manufacturing talents.
In addition, Jinan has launched a series of policies on land use, industrial park development, finance, talent and industry, to speed up the construction of the Sino-German SMEs Cooperation Zone.
Multiple German entrepreneurs, who have participated at the annual event many times, noted that Jinan has improved its business environment and the innovation zone with its excellent ecosystem is becoming more attractive to investors. 
As of October 2018, Jinan had attracted 88 Germany companies, with the number expected to top 95 next year.

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