Asia Business Insights Handelsblatt 2019 shows that economic relations between Germany and the Asia are intensifying with increasing speed
When the German business magazine Handelsblatt invites to its annual Asia Business Insight Conference, an illustrious circle of economic figures gets together. This years conference in Düsseldorf begun with a powerful speech of Helen Wong, Chief Executive Greater China HSBC, by stating that the economic bond between China and Germany is stronger than before. China and Germany both embrace their economical relationship, and they move ahead slowly by ‚crossing the river and feeling the stones.’ The scale of German companies is seen as an opportunity by China rather than a risk. Above all, I see German cars on the streets. In the shops there are products of German brands, a large part of the medicine comes from German pharmaceutical manufacturers. German talent has helped us to prosper,’says Wong.
The economic relations between Germany and the Asian region are intensifying with increasing speed. But skepticism about China remains.The West has long insisted that China’s economic opening would also mean political change.
But today’s reality looks different: while China has opened up for imports and investments, political freedom in the country is becoming increasingly smaller. And the great geopolitical will to power, which China has identified with the Silk Road project, causes concern in Europe.
Sustainability and Urbanization
Meanwhile the middle class in China is growing. With the prosperity also the demands on the quality of the consumer goods rise. This changes the market conditions. The best market opportunities are now on environmental protection and sustainability, which the government has committed itself to.
Covestro boss Markus Steilemann explained how the increasing urbanization Covestro brings new sales opportunities. The German plastics manufacturer an plastic recycling company has been active in China since 1996 and has adapted to the conditions of the market.
Markus Steilemann stated that everything is made from plastic, so everything can also be built from plastic. Social problems like the environment or urbanization can be helped by using plastic for example for building houses out of plastic. Two main problems in China could be tackled by one solution: these problems are nutrition and poverty. More than 200 million people suffer from hunger because fresh food does not reach the customer due to logistic problems, and farmers do not have the resources to build on their harvest). Mr Steilemann presented solar lights as the answer: food can be dried and easily preserved, which makes it easier to transport food for longer days.
Innovations and Startups in Asia
All over Asia you find a big group of young entrepreneurs. There are many startup companies in India for example. The entrepreneurial environment is very big and companies are supported b the Indian government. Difference between Germany and India is that the Indian customers are very keen on fast results whereas the German customer is very hesitant but a customer for life. In India there is a fear of failing, whereas Germans do not fear failure and know that they can grow from failing.
Trade documenting gets easier with Blockchain
Another trend that was presented at the Asia Business Insights was the digitalization of trade documenting: a fast and also safe way for the trade documenting process. First it took 5 to 15 days for a trade document to be fully processed, because of the long travels it had to make. But thanks to blockchain, a software that runs on multiple databases instead of one, the trade documenting process is safe, fast and easy to use. Especially for instances that do not want to share their data, the blockchain will prevent the data sharing and process the documenting in a fast way.
Other topics at Asia Business Insights Handelsblatt 2019 were success strategies for Asia, will Asia overtake us in the most important future markets, economic outlook on Asia, current situation geopolitics and world economy such as protectionism and new trade agreement, tectonic shifts in world trade and update to the Silk Road Project.