MUNICH / SHENZHEN Bavaria is expanding its presence in the People's Republic of China with a new representative office in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangdong. Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Zeil, emphasised the importance of this step. "We want to make the best use of the opportunities China has to offer for Bavaria. Two offices will allow us to act even more widely in the country and keep our fingers on the pulse for the Bavarian economy. Shenzhen is one of the most active economic centres. We hope that the new office will help open doors and be an important point of contact for medium-sized companies from Bavaria."
As well as Shandong, where Bavaria already has a representative office, a partnership has been in place with Guangdong province since 2004. This province has China's strongest economy and is one of the richest in the People's Republic. The region offers great potential for Bavarian companies and is home to many investors who are attractive for the state. Many internationally respected companies and important business contacts for Bavaria are based in Shenzhen.
The position of Head Representative in China was taken over by Dr. Markus Wittmann in mid-July. He is an old hand and a good friend to the partner province of Shangdong, having established the representative office in Jinan, Shangdong, as far back as 1997. This office moved to the economic hub of Qingdao in 2004. Wittmann was the Head of Invest in Bavaria, the business promotion agency of the Free State of Bavaria, for many years, as well as being Managing Director of the Regional Association for Wholesale and Foreign Trade, Distribution and Services of Bavaria from 2008 to 2013.
"We consider Markus Wittmann to be the ideal person for the job. He has a strong network both in Bavaria and in China, and knows the Chinese market well. In him, we have gained an excellent representative for Bavaria's interests. He knows all about the needs and worries of Bavarian medium-sized companies during internationalisation, but he also knows why Bavaria is of such interest to foreign investors," explains Zeil.
With over EUR 27 billion in 2012, China is Bavaria's most important trading partner in Asia by a long way, and the third most important worldwide. In turn, Germany is China's most important trading partner in the EU by a long way. Bavarian companies account for 19 per cent of the German-Chinese trade volume. More than 2028 Bavarian companies are now active in China and have business relations with the country.
"Bavaria wants to and has to show a stronger presence in the future market of China. Bavarian companies must continue to play in the top division in China, in order to make use of the country's strong growth for themselves and for Bavaria," emphasises Zeil to finish.