CHENGDU, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- German executive Axel Schweitzer has had a busy week in China, attending an international fair, meeting business partners and planning new offices for his company.
Schweitzer is chief executive officer of ALBA Group, a leading German company specializing in recycling and environmental services. In October, Chengdu Techcent Environment signed an agreement with ALBA to acquire 60 percent of shares of two of the group's key assets, according to ALBA. The deal is pending completion.
"The environment has become an important agenda for the Chinese government. I believe Chinese and German companies have great potential for cooperation in environment services," said Schweitzer at the ongoing Western China International Fair (WCIF), held in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.
Bringing in funds from China will help ALBA promote business in the country, he said.
As the international fair kicked off last week in Chengdu, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel led a 110-member business delegation for talks and deals with Chinese partners.
Chinese investment in Germany has surged in recent years and the prospects are promising, said Gabriel.
Direct investment of Chinese companies to Germany in the first six months this year has exceeded last year's total volume, he said, adding that Chinese investment in Europe last year was approximately the same as the combined total from 2012-2014.
Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded 163 billion euros, up 5.6 percent year on year, statistics show.
Trade between western provinces like Sichuan and foreign countries is also growing.
More than 200 German companies have set up operations in Sichuan in manufacturing, environmental services, vocational education and other industries, Wang Dongming, Communist Party chief of Sichuan, said during the fair.
Trade volume between Sichuan and Germany in 2015 was about a quarter of the province's total trade volume with the EU, said Wang.
"Sichuan is ready to deepen cooperation with Germany in airlines, railways, city management, education, science, technology and other areas," said Wang.
Chengdu has spent 200 million yuan (about 30 million U.S. dollars) to build a fund to support technology transfer between companies in China and Germany.
The Belt and Road Initiative has also strengthened trade ties between China's inland provinces and other countries.
Last week, Duisburger Hafen AG, the holding and management company of the Port of Duisburg, signed a deal with Chengdu Industry Investment Thursday on developing transcontinental cargo trains.
Michael Groschek, minister for building, housing, urban development and transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, said he expected that a 'red carpet' for logistics would stretch from western China to his state by 2018.
Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde said the 16th WCIF will bring new prospects for German enterprises, and Sichuan is an ideal location for investment and cooperation.