Osaka and Shanghai are two partner cities with which the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg maintains close business contacts. At the beginning of June, Frank Horch, Hamburg’s senator for economics, transport and innovation, travelled to South Korea, Japan and China with a 40-strong delegation of high-ranking representatives from the business and academic world in order to initiate or intensify cooperation in green technologies and maritime business between German and Asian companies.
“The trip exceeded my expectations. Every individual involved contributed towards this extraordinary result”, claimed Senator Horch. He was accompanied by several representatives of Renewable Energy Hamburg, including Michael Westhagemann, CEO Siemens AG, North region, and chairman of the association for the promotion of Renewable Energy Hamburg, Pieter Wasmuth, general representative of Vattenfall Europe AG for the Hamburg city region, and Jan Luca Plewa, international project manager at Renewable Energy Hamburg.
“The most important new information which we gained from this successful trip was the extent to which Germany and particularly Hamburg are regarded by Japan and South Korea as being a model for a successful energy revolution. This means that we have a special role and task to fulfil. As the Renewable Energy Cluster in Hamburg, we will also be able to benefit from an influx of different Asian renewable energies companies in Hamburg”, said Plewa. “As a result of this trip, the city of Hamburg has enhanced its image, particularly in the field of renewable energies and energy management”, added Wasmuth.
Samsung Heavy Industries plans to open a Technical Center for wind energy in Hamburg, initially with ten employees, with the figure potentially increasing to 150. Vice-minister Cho Seok, Minister for Knowledge Economy, announced that he would visit the Hanseatic city and Renewable Energy Hamburg. Representatives from Hyundai Heavy Industries will also visit Hamburg.
Japanese representatives, e.g. from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which already has an office in Hamburg, showed particular interest in research and development. The Hamburg delegation also met economics minister Edano, who emphasised that several Japanese companies are planning to move to the city. In Japan, renewable energies potential tends to be in the segments for geothermal energy and bioenergy from waste, and to a lesser degree, in on- and offshore wind energy. In the field of electric mobility, there is potential for intensive cooperation to develop between Japan and Hamburg. In Japan, over 750,000 electric and hybrid vehicles were sold in 2011.