Duisburg on the new silk road

One belt – one road: A rail connection between the Metropolis Ruhr and the megacity Chongqing is drawing Chinese companies to the City of Cities

The transportation of goods via the 11,000-kilometre-long rail connection between East Asia and Duisburg is not only eco-friendly, but also faster than container ship and cheaper than air cargo. They can be optimally distributed throughout Europe from the world’s largest inland port. And if goods sometimes have to be exported more quickly, the major German airports are also not far away. Duisburg is located at the end of the New Silk Road and is now establishing itself as the gateway for Chinese companies interested in the Metropolis Ruhr as an investment location.

These logistics possibilities and the central location in the heart of Europe also proved pivotal in vice managing director Hu Xiaoxiao’s decision to move her Chinese e-commerce business Dolphin Cross-Border Tech GmbH and its 10,000 m2 warehouse to the Port of Duisburg. Baby food, child seats, crockery, cosmetic products and clothing destined for the Chinese market are primarily stored in the massive hall. German products are viewed as premium quality and long-lasting in China, and Dolphin Cross-Border Tech has been serving the growing need of Chinese households for foreign products in a straightforward and modern way since 2015 via online shops.

Duisburg is a very important city with this `one belt one road´ policy implemented in China. It has a very good railway facility. That’s why we chose to be located in Duisburg.

Hu Xiaoxiao - Vize-Geschäftsführerin Dolphin Cross-Border Tech GmbH

On the stage of the Business and Investors Forum China (BIFC) in Duisburg, Hu Xiaoxiao told around 600 guests about her worldwide experiences as an e-commerce entrepreneur and discussed new opportunities for closer economic cooperation between Germany and China in the course of digitalisation. In October 2017, the economic development agency NRW.INVEST hosted the networking event for the sixth time in conjunction with Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH (BMR), GFW Duisburg mbH and the German-Chinese Business Association.

There are already 80 Chinese companies in Duisburg. In order to foster this development, the BMR, GFW and the newly founded China Business Network are helping Chinese companies to grow their businesses in Germany. They provide information on a number of matters ranging from securing residence permits and setting up subsidiaries to dealing with customs formalities – all with the aim of expanding trade via the New Silk Road.