The 7th China-Germany Urbanization Symposium Held in Changchun–Dialogues Add Impetus to Sustainable Development of China-Germany Cities

Updated : 2019-10-31Source : CCFAO
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To get deeply integrated into the “Belt and Road” Initiative and build a highland for opening up and cooperation, Changchun City, as an old industrial base, has been taking active measures to make the weak strong for opening up, and striding forward on the road of accelerating the construction of an international city with a first-class business environment, thereby enhancing the overall strength and international competitiveness of the city. 


It was in the late autumn of the year when things were in a state of silence that a new chapter of sustainable development for cities arrived in Changchun City—with the opening of 7th China-Germany Urbanization Symposium, the experts from the two sides shared their ideas on promoting the coordinated socioeconomic development and urbanization construction of Changchun City, and deepening the cooperation with Germany. Taking the symposium as an opportunity, Changchun City will strengthen in-depth exchanges with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Germany especially KAS to further facilitate the process of urbanization and thus add impetus to the sustainable development of the city.  

Joins Hands and Meet Challenges on the Road of Promoting Urbanization 


This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China and the 47th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. Over the past 47 years, the two countries have maintained comprehensive, stable and healthy relations, with the size of cooperation constantly expanded and the level of cooperation improved. At present, Germany is China’s largest economic and trade partner in Europe. China has become Germany’s largest trading partner for three consecutive years, thereby becoming one of the most favored investment destinations for German enterprises. The investments from both sides have amounted to more than USD40 billion. 

The cooperation between Changchun City and Germany also boasts of a long history, which was started by the cooperation between FAW and VW in the field of automobiles. In 2006, Changchun and Wolfsburg became sister cities. In addition to automobile industry, official visits, economic and trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have become increasingly frequent thanks to the active promotion by the governments of the two cities. 


Under the background of new era for new development, confronted with the economic, social and environmental challenges brought by the rapid process of urbanization, the governments of China and Germany put forward a joint initiative to carry out cooperation in urbanization so as to promote political dialogues, exchanges of experience among cities and institutions of the two countries and thus find common solutions to strengthening capacity building while providing opportunities for each other. 


“China-Germany Urbanization Symposium” Comes into Being—The governments of the two countries have agreed that the prime ministers of the two sides should jointly promote the intergovernmental cooperation project, which is jointly held in China by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Knorad-Adenuer–Stiftung (KAS). 


Due to active efforts by all sides involved, the symposium for this year settled in Changchun City, which will further promote the establishment of a broader exchange relationship between Changchun City, Jilin Province and Germany. In line with mutual benefits and win-win development, it will help promote in an all-round way the extensive cooperation between Changchun City, Jilin Province and Germany, which is therefore of great significance to facilitating the comprehensive revitalization of Changchun City. 


Prioritizing Construction of Economic Development Environment, Dialogues Held to Explore Better Solutions 


To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, achieve more balanced development of urbanization, and improve the quality of life of cities of the two sides….The ultimate goal of cooperation between China and Germany has drawn a more harmonious and beautiful blueprint for development. 


With the establishment of partnership in urbanization between China and Germany, the cooperation between the two sides has become increasingly stable and in-depth. As an important platform, China-Germany cooperation in urbanization has provided strong support for the close cooperation and practical exchanges among the cities of the two sides so as to meet the challenges in the process of urbanization, and facilitated the local decision makers of China and Germany to explore solutions to the common obstacles hindering the process of sustainable development. 


The 3-day symposium “People-oriented Urbanization-Experience and Practice of China” attracted the participation of government officials and business personnel from Germany and their Chinese counterparts invited by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries during which such keynote speeches “Professional Support Mechanism under the Background of Economic Structuring” and “Urban Development and Transportation: Action Strategy of German Cities”, “Plastic Recycling and Waste Treatment in the Big Cities of Germany” were delivered, followed by the dialogues and discussions on the proposals, expertise, policies against the challenges of economic development and urbanization, environment construction, etc. 


The symposium also brought about fruitful cooperation in projects, including the cooperation agreement between Wolfsburg Economic Development Co., Ltd. and Changchun Changfa Group; and the conference on urbanization and urban construction joined by Germany International Cooperation Co., Ltd., Changchun Urban Investment Group and Changchun Runde Investment Group Co., Ltd.  


Learn to Become Role Model of International City 


In November 2013, the 1st Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. More than 70 local government representatives, experts and scholars from China and Germany joined the meeting and exchanged experience, discussed problems and explored solutions to facilitating the development of urbanization in China and Germany. 


In October 2014, the 2nd Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. More than 220 Chinese and German experts and scholars, government officials and representatives of economic and business circles discussed the shared opportunities and challenges as well as the characteristics of China-Germany urbanization around the theme of “China’s New Urbanization-Opportunities for China-German Economic Cooperation”. The experts and local leaders made keynote speeches on policy, environment, energy, transportation, medical care, population, etc.  


In September 2015, the 3rd Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. In line with the theme “Bring Full Play the Leading Role of Urbanization in the Transformation of Industrial Cities”, and around three aspects “Building Livable Cities-Governance and Cooperation”, “Enhancing Economic Vitality-Cooperation among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises” and “Cultivation of Technical Talents-Cooperation among Vocational Colleges”, more than 150 government representatives, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs from the two sides were invited to the symposium.  


In November 2016, the 4th Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The discussions on such aspects of infrastructure, urban travel, financial scheme for the sustainable development of transportation under the urbanization of China and Germany were organized.  


In November 2017, the 5th Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Jinan, Shandong Province. In line with the theme “Urban-rural Integration”, the event attracted about 150 representatives from all walks of life from Germany and China. The representatives of the two sides’ legislative departments, local governments, research institutions and think tanks conducted in-depth discussions on such key issues in the process of urbanization in China and Germany as development of small and medium-sized cities, transformation of villages in cities, transfer of rural population, and construction of urban and rural infrastructure. 


In October 2018, the 6th Sino China-German Urbanization Symposium was held in Xuchang, Henan Province. More than 150 representatives from research institutions and business circles, including the Center for City and Small Town Reform and Development of the National Development and Reform Commission, Academy of Urban Planning and Design of China, Tencent Research Institute had talks with their German counterparts on the topic “Challenges and Opportunities of Smart Cities-China-German Experience and Practice”…. 


Since 2013, the symposium has been held in such cities as Xuzhou, Shenyang, Baotou, Chengdu, Jinan and Xuchang. According to the online data, China’s urbanization rate was 53.7% in 2013, while it had exceeded 58%by the beginning of 2018. The urbanization of China has been progressing steadily at a rate of 1.2% per year. 


Over the past six plus years, the government officials, experts, scholars and enterprise representatives from the two sides have carried out practical exchanges around economic cooperation, industrial city transformation, livable city, sustainable transportation, urban-rural integration and other topics in the process of urbanization, and made suggestions for the urban development of China and Germany. 


Extensive Complementarities and Great Prospects for China-Germany Cooperation  


As the host city of this year’s symposium, Changchun can learn from Germany’s successful experience in such aspects as urbanization development strategy, planning and construction, ecological environment protection and cultural heritage. In the meantime, it’s been indicated that exceptional representatives and influential experts and scholars from Germany will be hired to facilitate Changchun’s construction of an international city. In addition, the research results of German experts and scholars in various fields will be absorbed to expand the international influence of Changchun City. 


It is hoped that with this symposium as a platform Changchun City will deepen the cooperation with Germany, make full use of the opportunity brought about by the visit of KAS and experts in in various fields to establish extensive, in-depth contacts and promote the symposium up to a conference with platform demonstration effects so as to facilitate urbanization and internationalization.