The Hamburg- Shanghai Line 4 international networking What'S NewS Issue 2 February 1996 For the past 10 years, Germany's main port and China's busiest harbour have had a very special relationship. In 1985, a partnership agreement was signed between the two cities resulting in a major Chinese commercial presence in the German Port. Burkhard Hedrich of Rabobank Hamburg and Shanghai's Olivia Chen put their heads together to see if the close ties between the two major ports could generate business for the bank. 'One of the results of the agreement between Hamburg and Shanghai was the establishment of a so-called Chinese European Trade Centre here in Hamburg,' says Burkhard Hedrich of the Hamburg trade finance team. 'To date, 150 Chinese firms have opened purchasing or sales offices here for their parent companies in Shanghai. Among them are some of the biggest Chinese state-owned corporates.' TRADE FINANCE OPPORTUNITIES Hamburg is the second largest port in Europe and handles immense volumes from all over the world, including China. 'Around 60 percent of all German imports from and exports to China of about DEM 26 billion in 1994 pass through the port,' Hedrich confirms. 'It seemed to me that could open up a lot of opportunities for trade finance on which Olivia in Shanghai and our team here could work together.' Although Hedrich only joined the bank officially on January 1, he was already at work on building his new network in the preceding months. 'I received the go-ahead to visit Rabobank operations in the Far East. Initially, the idea was a kind of fact- finding mission. But having talked to Rabobank people there, we thought: why don't we try and do some business.' OFFERING ADDED VALUE He contacted Chen in Shanghai who immediately began setting up a series of meetings with both top level corporate prospects and senior government officials for Hedrich, herself and Hong Kong's Billy Wong. Eor the past 18 months, Chen has been positioning Rabobank in the Chinese market and building good relationships with prospective clients. 'Many of the giant Chinese state-owned corporations have been importing and exporting for decades and they already have established banking relationships. The idea that we could provide added value through our Hamburg office was definitely an advantage when I started working out a program for Burkhard's visit.' PROFITABLE PROGRAM The program Chen arranged included a

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1996 | | pagina 4