"The German Centre is a reliable partner in difficult and extraordinary situations."

Jochen Tenhagen started as Managing Director of the German Centre Beijing in May 2020. An interview with Gabriele Greiner, Global Head of German Centres.

Before you joined the German Centre Beijing, you worked for several years for a German Mittelstand company in China. That means that you have a good understanding of the requirements and challenges German companies face there. What is your motivation to move as Managing Director to the German Centre?

Yes, most recently, I set up and led the China operations for a German Mittelstand company in the automotive industry. Now, in the German Centre there are about 140 tenant companies from diverse backgrounds and industries, many of them are small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs usually have limited resources in terms of finance and staffing. They also need to deal with a different language and business culture and take care of paperwork. And in addition, they often lack a local network. In my role as Managing Director I have the opportunity to connect people and companies, to establish a platform for sharing experiences and best practice, and to assist companies to successfully navigate the fast-paced Chinese market. Additionally, I am happy to come back to China’s capital after spending a few years in Tianjin!

While the rest of the world is still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, we see signs of recovery in China. How can the German Centre Beijing contribute in this situation?

First and foremost I would like to emphasize that the German Centre is not only a partner in good times, but we are also a reliable partner in difficult and extraordinary situations. We try to do everything to ensure the stability of the German Centre operations and the well-being of our tenants. We have been providing disinfectants, connected tenants with mask suppliers, give updates about local building and work regulations, and generally address the concerns of our tenants. Depending on their conditions we also try to mitigate the negative economic impact on our tenants, for instance, when liquidity issues occur. These are difficult times for people, societies and businesses around the globe, but we can overcome this challenge if we work together.

What are your plans for the German Centre Beijing?

We would like to strengthen the German Centre’s position as “home away from home” and bring people and businesses together in the spirit of openness, tolerance, and integrity. We aim to deliver high quality facilities and infrastructure, reliable services, and practical advice. We plan to constantly improve our service offerings in line with the develop­ments in China and our tenants’ requirements. We would like to welcome many more German companies, which can benefit from the German Centre’s unique eco-system to start their successful business in the challenging but still attractive China market.

Thank you – and good luck!