The DCW has been dedicated to German-Chinese relations for more than 30 years. The focus is on the dialogue between the 420 German and Chinese members as well as promoting mutual cultural understanding. To achieve this, the DCW relies on the voluntary commitment of its members, especially entrepreneurs and managers.
One of them is Marco Hamacher. The CEO of RAMPF (Nantong) Co. Ltd., the Chinese subsidiary of the international RAMPF Group, was recently appointed DCW representative for the newly founded Shanghai region. In the following interview, the experienced China expert explains his motives for doing this voluntary work and how he aims to address controversial topics with courtesy and respect.
Mr. Hamacher, as CEO of RAMPF China, a company which is doing very well at the moment, you are probably quite busy. Why have you decided to do take up this position at DCW?
When I came to Taicang in 2007, a city in the province of Jiangsu and RAMPF’s headquarters in China until last year, I joined the Taicang Round Table and was later elected to its board. In this function, I was in regular contact with Chinese officials and politicians and learnt how to conduct controversial discussions with mutual respect and Asian courtesy.
I also found that German companies enjoy an excellent reputation in China, and I would like to strengthen this further. In my role as DCW ambassador I have the opportunity to build bridges and that is what I aim to do. I will represent DCW at business receptions to raise awareness for the organization and to promote exchanges with development zones. I’m also the contact person for companies that are looking for partners for German-Chinese projects.
Of course, this commitment also has the advantage that I will work closely with local authorities, which can also be useful for RAMPF’s new location in Nantong, a city in the province of Jiangsu.
How do you see of the future of German-Chinese economic relations?
The diplomatic and economic relations between Germany and China are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and I hope that this good relationship will continue for many decades to come. I also hope that the number of German companies in China will continue to increase – the German Chamber of Commerce currently lists more than 5,000. Around 60 percent of these are based in and around Shanghai and work primarily in mechanical engineering, the automotive and chemical industries.
However, I am skeptical about the ever louder calls for economic independence from China. It’s certainly true that, for example, raw materials such as rare earths are almost exclusively imported from China. However, one should ask the question – why is this so? Haven’t we failed to look for other resources in the past, which are now largely controlled by Chinese companies, especially in Africa?
In my opinion, it’s not about independence, but rather about diversification.
How has the economic cooperation changed over the years?
In the past, China was seen as a low-cost workbench for mass production. That is no longer the case. Rather, more and more companies that rely on low wages, especially in the sporting goods and textile industries, left China many years ago and emigrated to low-wage countries.
Most international companies produce in China mainly for the local market. And this is expected to continue to grow strongly, also because of the goals set by the government at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. These include measures to support SMEs, the restructuring of state-owned enterprises, increasing foreign investment in high-tech areas, and a greater focus on manufacturing, product quality, and digitization as well as on the aerospace, transportation, and cyberspace industries. What will definitely increase significantly in the future is the competition with Chinese companies.
What are the prospects for RAMPF China in the near future?
RAMPF is very well positioned in China and optimistic about the future. Our sealing foams and electro casting resins have long established themselves in the Chinese automotive industry, and we are receiving an increasing number of inquiries from Chinese machine tool builders for our innovative mineral casting material. Chinese companies are looking to use high-quality materials – and we offer these.
The international RAMPF Group stands for engineering and chemical solutions and caters to the economic and ecological needs of industry.
The family-owned company specializes in the development and manufacture of reactive resin systems, machine systems, and lightweight construction with composites.
RAMPF thinks globally and acts locally – the group of companies has its own production facilities at strategically important locations in Germany, the USA, Canada, China, Japan, and Korea.
RAMPF Holding GmbH & Co. KG
Telefon: +49 (7123) 9342-0
Telefon: +49 (7123) 9342-0