FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Sino-German Metal Eco City?

The Sino-German Metal Eco City (MEC) is an innovative industrial park, which will open up access to the Chinese market for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The MEC is located in the north of the large metropolis of Jieyang, at the heart of the southern province of Guangdong - only a one-hour flight away from Hong Kong. It extends over an area of 25 square kilometres. The volume of investment amounts to 20 billion euros.

By 2020, the MEC should be in a position to employ approximately 100,000 people. This German/Chinese industrial park is a pilot project for modern urbanisation, which integrates the world of work and private life in an innovative way, thus serving as a model for the whole of China. The MEC is the first large industrial settlement project in China to be initiated by Chinese entrepreneurs and supported by the Party and the government in Beijing. At the end of 2012, China and Germany worked together to launch the prototype for an innovative industrial park.

The MEC will include a metal manufacturing centre, a technological innovation centre, a conference centre, a university of applied sciences, a hotel for professionals, residential areas, an e-commerce industrial park, a nature park, a resource recycling centre and a financial centre.
Six service platforms are included in the Metal Eco City concept...
 " for commerce with a wide variety of products
 " for technological innovation and industrial design
 " for manufacturing metal products and mechanical engineering
 " for resource recycling
 " for a workforce and specialist staff within the metal industry
 " for the provision of finance to the metal industry

2.  Why was the MEC created in Jieyang?

The MEC is being developed on the outskirts of the city of Jieyang, in the eastern region of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. With 6.8 million inhabitants, Jieyang is an ambitious metropolis and a booming economic region. More than 100 million people live in the province of Guangdong. Jieyang is located in the expansion zone encircling the "Pearl River Delta Economic Zone" - the most dynamic economic region in China.  Thanks to its history and prominent location, Jieyang is considered the most important economic centre for the metal industry, mechanical engineering and environmental technology. The region has a history spanning over 1,000 years of tradition in metalwork. Jieyang is home to 7,600 metal firms, with a specialist workforce of 400,000 working within the industry. The other key economic focus areas are jade processing, the textiles industry and the pharmaceutical industry.
Industry in Jieyang is currently experiencing a breakthrough phase - industry is being transformed, the market economy is opening up and innovation is taking place in environmental technologies. For the numerous SMEs, these are the key themes for the future. 700 metal firms from the region consequently formed an association and put together an investment fund in 2012. In parallel, the political leaders of the city of Jieyang worked out a development concept. Together, the challenges of the future are being faced, advancing the transformation of traditional industry. The Metal Eco City is at the heart of this process of modernisation - an innovative industrial park, which both German and Chinese SMEs are working together to develop.

3. Why is the MEC a German-Chinese flagship project?

How will the city of the future look? How can production, work, life and nature be unified in a city? For a number of years now, China and Germany have been successfully working on joint future projects for the benefit of both countries. The MEC, supported mutually by Germany and China, serves as a pilot project for modern urbanisation. For example, the first facility in China for producing "green coal" from municipal waste is being created in the MEC. With sustainable production chains, an intelligent infrastructure and resource-friendly technologies, the MEC has an exemplary character for the whole of China. The free-market approach is also unique - the MEC is the first industrial park in China to have been created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. German and Chinese companies are working together on the development of the city - thereby ensuring a focus on the individual interests of the companies. With an extensive network of representatives in Germany, the MEC is the sole German-Chinese major project to be accompanied by German management.

4. Who is behind the MEC?

The road to success

The Metal Eco City in Jieyang opens up uncomplicated and risk-free access to the Chinese market for German small and medium-sized enterprises - the five stage model of the MEC leads to success.

The MEC is being developed by the ZhongDe Metal Group Co., Ltd. More than 700 Chinese metal companies from the Jieyang region created an association in 2012 and put together an investment fund with 100 million euros to launch the industrial park. The chairman is the Chinese businessman Wu Kedong. ZhongDe Metal Group GmbH, an interface between German and Chinese businesses, was founded in Stuttgart at the beginning of 2015, with further offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Dresden. The German-Chinese cooperation agreements are coordinated under the management of Mike de Vries and Wenpei Lin. The Supervisory Board of the subsidiary in Stuttgart consists of high-profile figures from the German business world with important contacts in politics: Prof. Dieter Hundt (Chairman of the Supervisory Board), Honorary President of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, Dr. Eric Schweitzer, President of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Pierre-Enric Steiger, the President of the Björn Steiger Foundation.

5. Why is the focus on German-Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises?

Promoting cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries was defined as one of the priorities for the coming years during the "German-Chinese governmental consultations". The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy assumes that the SME cooperation will provide fresh impetus for German-Chinese economic cooperation. The European Union is of the same opinion. As in Germany, small and medium-sized enterprises form the backbone of China's economy. According to official figures from 2009 to 2014, small and medium-sized enterprises created 44 million jobs for the urban population alone in China.
The MEC was given recognition in May 2015 as the first "location for collaboration between German and Chinese SMEs" in southern China by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China.

6. What opportunities does the Chinese market offer German small and medium-sized enterprises?

Flexibility, innovation, quality and perfection - German SMEs are known as a premium brand across the world. German SMEs have quite a bit to offer China in terms of its industrial transformation. Conversely, the Chinese market is opening up a unique opportunity particularly for German SMEs, meaning that it's a win-win situation for both parties. China's ideal partner for the industry of the future is Germany.
In 2014, Germany and China agreed upon an innovation partnership. Within the scope of this partnership, German and Chinese companies are able to work together in certain fields to develop new products and future-oriented technologies as part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs' "Industry 4.0" and the Chinese initiative "Made in China 2025".  In the MEC, Chinese family businesses cooperate with SMEs from Germany. In Jieyang, confidence, reliability and individuality form the foundation of the German-Chinese partnership. Whereas the Northern Chinese market has already been largely tapped into by foreign companies over the course of the last few decades, southern China still represents an area of potential which has not yet been exhausted. More than 100 million people live in Guangdong province alone.

7.  What development programmes are in place for the MEC site?

As part of their "Made in China 2025" initiative, the Chinese government has created funding programmes for promising technologies of the future in ten different fields: energy production, new materials, medical technology, information technology, robotics, air and space travel, marine technology and high-tech ships, railway technology, more environmentally friendly cars and agricultural machinery. For companies that fit with the concept of the MEC, further individual subsidies are also possible such as low-interest loans, favourable rents or land prices, as well as grants.

8.  Which companies are currently becoming established in the MEC?

 " In the MEC, the first facility in China for producing "green coal" from municipal waste is being created. With the Green Fuel technology developed by the ALBA Group, municipal waste is being converted to fuel, green coal, once the pollutants have been separated out and the valuable materials have been regained. Green coal will be used in power stations as part of the process of energy recovery. In future, this plant should be able to generate 120 million kilowatt hours of power per year from 400,000 tonnes of municipal waste and feed it straight into the local power supply system. The construction start date is planned for the end of 2015. Total investment of 3 billion CNY.
" Ferdinand Menrad Holding GmbH is one of the TOP 500 companies in Germany and is one of the leading manufacturers of spectacle frames and sunglasses. The company has been manufacturing its products for 16 years in Jieyang - it is now building a new, larger production facility in the MEC. The company operates under numerous well-known licensed brands such as JAGUAR, DAVIDOFF, CARL ZEISS as well as under its own brand MENRAD. It has the most advanced production technology for the manufacture of glasses in the world. Total investment of 300 million CNY, Chinese partner: Jieyang Huifeng Glasses Co., Ltd.
" BAUKU Troisdorfer Bau- und Kunststoff GmbH invented the corrugated plastic pipe. BAUKU is the most experienced manufacturer of plastic piping systems made of modern PP and conventional PE within the nominal size range of DN 300 to DN 3500 in the world - be it for water technology, waste water technology, industrial technology or landfill technology.
" The piping system has been deployed under the trading name of PROFILEEN since 1956. BAUKU has a complete industrial chain at its disposal, from engineering and pipe manufacturing to the planning and design of the piping systems as well as the copyright for the application software. BAUKU is also a provider of solutions for urban waterlogging and for the reconfiguration of piping systems in Europe. Total investment of 1.8 billion CNY, Chinese partner: Jieyang KCL Technology Co., Ltd.
" ASANUS Medizintechnik GmbH produces high-quality surgical instruments and develops software for the management and logistical control of surgical instruments. ASANUS Barcon Software is an intelligent management system using Internet of Things technology. Using RFID chips, the transparent management and control of all processes involving the instruments are guaranteed, particularly in the process of sterilisation. As a result, process losses are reduced by up to 70 per cent. Total investment of 500 million RMB, Chinese partner: Guangdong Asanus Medical Investment Consulting Co., Ltd.
" DeVeTec GmbH creates power using waste heat via the ORC process (Organic Rankine Cycle). The ORC process works by using organic media such as alcohols, (silicon) oils or cryogens instead of steam, which possess more efficient thermodynamic qualities than water. The energy-generating capacity reaches 12.5 per cent and is therefore twice as high as the energy-generating capacity in China. In the MEC, DeWeTec will produce waste heat power stations for the Chinese market, and indeed also for the entire Asian market. Chinese partner: Degao, Jieyang
To date, 19 German companies and 34 Chinese electro-plating companies have set up there. Cooperation discussions are currently taking place with more than 50 German companies. 31 factories with more than 220,000 m² of construction space are already available. (As at October 2015)

9. How is the infrastructure?

Jieyang is located in the expansion zone encircling the "Pearl River Delta Economic Zone" - the most dynamic economic region in China. Jieyang is a transport hub for East Guangdong, South Fujian and South Jiangxi. In terms of infrastructure, the MEC has connections with airports, expressways, shipping and rail transport.
Airports: There are three new international flight routes to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf from Jieyang via Beijing. Hong Kong is one hour away by plane. The nearest international airport, Chaoshan airport, is just ten kilometres away from the MEC.
Expressways: Several expressways form a compact network of connections: the ShanKun Expressway, the Jiepu Expressway, the Chaohui Expressway and the Shanjiemei Expressway. The industrial park itself is accessible via three main roads: the Sino-German-Strasse, the Perlenfluss-Strasse and the Rhein-Strasse.
Rail: The MEC offers a flexible railway connection network, with links to several railway lines and fast trains. The nearest train station, Chaoshan station, is only 15 kilometres away from the MEC. The MEC will have its own special freight train station.
Shipping: The city of Jieyang's Shengquan sea port and the Rongjiang sea port provide a direct connection to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Zhanjiang and other ports.

10. How are links to the New Silk Road?

In the autumn of 2013, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, announced the development of a "Silk Road-Economic Belt" and a "maritime Silk Road for the 21st century." The Silk Road Initiative "One Belt, One Road" goes far beyond the construction of linear transport and freighting connections between Europe and Asia. Rather, this should become a comprehensive infrastructural network for Eurasia.  In order to promote international trade, China intends to invest billions in the creation of a new network for the Eurasian region in the coming years. The country will make 40 billion dollars available for this purpose. This strategic economic project is intended to bring Asia and Europe together - 65 countries and 4.4 billion people. A railway connection extending from China to Duisburg already exists. Development banks, common trading standards, a reduction in customs barriers, and the integration of markets and cultures are all part of the future plans for the network. The Silk Road Initiative includes two routes: the land route from China to Turkey via Central Asia and the EU and the sea route via the Indian Ocean to Africa and Europe. For both routes, it will be a case of developing the transportation infrastructure, promoting economic development and encouraging trade and interaction between people. The MEC has a direct link to the New Silk Road's sea route via the city of Jieyang's Shengquan sea port and the Rongjiang sea port.

11. How will housing and living be integrated in the MEC?

In the MEC, people should live in harmony with nature. The "green" concept guarantees a high quality of life. In the north-east of the industrial park, there will be a modern residential area with units of various sizes - 2,500 apartments and flats, an exclusive residential district with more than 200 houses and a 455-room 5-star maritime hotel. Employees, guests and their families will be able to find somewhere suitable to live that meets all modern standards of living. The lake in the centre and large nature park provide nearby leisure areas. The nature park is set out over an area of 200,000 square metres. In order to provide all the residents of the MEC with high-quality leisure activities, the centre has many shops, food stores and restaurants. Healthcare provisions and international kindergartens and schools complete the range of services on offer.

12. Who are the partners of the MEC?

Planning partners include ...
... the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK) of Berlin, which is advising on the establishment of an institute for applied research and development in the metalwork industry. This institute will be a partner for local companies, supporting them in their technical regeneration. At the same time, it will offer development services for companies.
... WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH (the operating company of the Berlin Adlershof Science and Technology Park) is advising the MEC on design, construction and management. It will provide support in matters of urban construction, promotion of innovations and issues relating to finance and management. In conjunction with ZhongDe Metal Group, WISTA MANAGEMENT GMBH is setting up the founders' centre, the "Sino-German Innovation Incubator".
... Esslingen University of Applied Sciences is establishing a University of Applied Sciences within the MEC in cooperation with the Technical University of Guangdong. The basis for this will be the German dual education system. By 2023, the "Esslingen-Guangdong University of Applied Sciences" will have provided education to a total of 16,000 students.
... the Maritim Group is developing an exclusive residential area with 200 exclusive villas and a 455-room five-star hotel.
... a strategic cooperation was also agreed with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and with the German Chamber of Foreign Trade for China (AHK China).
... cooperation agreements were signed with more than 20 industrial associations in Europe.

13.  What is the German-Chinese SME Congress?

The first German-Chinese SME Congress had its début in Jieyang in June 2015. The Metal Eco City was at the centre of the congress. The first congress was a great success:
...    around 1000 representatives of Chinese companies, politicians and organisations took part in the conference, as well as around 100 delegates from Germany.
...    more than 122 foreign institutions and companies from Germany, Austria and Spain as well as 132 Chinese companies came together for discussions.
...    105 technological innovations from 38 German companies were showcased.
...    24 cooperation agreements and 27 memoranda were signed.
The second German-Chinese SME Congress is expected to take place in November 2016 in Jieyang once again.

The first "Sino-German Mittelstands Dialogue" will take place for the first time in Germany: on 17-19 September 2016 in Baden-Württemberg.