Head of the Foreign Trade Information Bureau of Germany Trade & Invest in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Corinne Abele has been living and working in China for nearly 20 years. An experienced journalist and economist, she has documented China´s economic development with analyses, articles and lectures. A big part of her work focuses on the observation and analysis of innovation-driven technology markets and industrial digitisation in China. Her other main topics are environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and competition in China.
Since 2014, Ms Abele has been heading the Trade Information Section of Germany Trade & Invest in Shanghai. Prior to this, she worked in the same position in Beijing (2004–2012) and in Taipei (1998–2004).
Ms Abele graduated from the University of Tübingen in economics (diploma) and eastern european history (MA) with a scholarship from the German National Student Foundation. She was also a scholar of the Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach foundation, which enabled her to study Chinese at Nanjing University from 1992 to 1993.
Deputy Director-General of the WTO
Karl Brauner is a lawyer by profession, with university degrees from Germany and the United Kingdom (Cambridge). After working as an assistant professor at the University of Bielefeld and practising law in North Rhine–Westphalia, he started his ministerial career in the legal department of the Federal Ministry of Economics in Bonn in 1983. In 1986–87, he worked at the German Mission to the United Nations in New York. He also held postings abroad in Greece and Australia.
At the Economics Ministry, his responsibilities covered a range of issues, such as budget, human resources and general administration. He was also involved in the move of the government from Bonn to Berlin.
For the 12 years before joining the WTO, Mr Brauner was director general for external economic policy. During that time he was Germany’s member in the European Union’s Trade Policy Committee and took part in all WTO ministerial conferences after the launch of the Doha Development Agenda.
He is now a deputy director general at the WTO. His areas of responsibility are legal affairs, rules, administration, general services and human resources.
Member of the European Parliament
REINHARD BÜTIKOFER is a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP). He sits on the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) as a full member and on the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) as a substitute member. He is the Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China as well as a member of the delegation to the United States and a substitute member of the ASEAN Delegation.
Before getting elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Bütikofer was the Co-Chair of the German Green Party BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN (from 2002 until 2008). He was the party’s Secretary General from 1998 until 2002. Prior to that, he served as the Chair of the Greens in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.
Mr Bütikofer is also member of the Europe/Transatlantic Advisory Board and the General Assembly of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the NABU Club, the board of the Green European Foundation as well as the German–Israeli Society and the German–Chinese Dialogue Forum.
Director Europe & Geopolitics
friends of europe
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for issues related to the Future of Europe, migration, the Asia programme and the Development Policy Forum. Shada is a visiting professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) where she teaches Asia–Europe relations and has been selected as a fellow by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has been named one of the 20 most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and previously worked on Asian and migration issues at the European Policy Centre. She is one of the authors of Friends of Europe’s much-read “Frankly Speaking” commentary and is sought after as a speaker, commentator, columnist and moderator at high-level European and global events. Shada also continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU–Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications and academic journals.
CEO and co-founder of Smaato, Germany
Ragnar Kruse is the CEO and co-founder of Smaato. Since 2005, he has built Smaato into the world’s largest independent mobile ad exchange, with over 90,000 publishers and app developers and more than 450 demand partners delivering ads to over one billion unique mobile users per month around the world. He has raised USD 50 million from prestigious investors such as Aeris Capital, EDBI Singapore, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and business angels.
As a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ experience in IT, Mr Kruse understands the unique challenges in bringing new technologies to market. He has built up several companies from inception to market launch in the US and Europe.
At Intershop Communications, a leader in e-commerce software solutions, Mr Kruse was VP of Sales and Marketing in San Francisco. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the company’s growth, ushering it through a successful IPO on NASDAQ and the ‘Neuer Markt’ in 1998, while helping the company to grow from five employees to more than 1,000.
Chairman of the delegation for relations with China, European Parliament
Jo Leinen has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1999. From 2004 to 2009, he was President of the Constitutional Affairs Committee and from 2009 to 2011 he chaired the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
Mr Leinen has been the Chairman of the delegation for the relations with China since 2014, and is the spokesperson of the S&D Group in the Constitutional Affairs Committee, a full member on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and a substitute member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs. He is also a full Member of the European Parliament’s working group on EU–UN relations and a substitute member of the ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
After being President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) from 1997 to 2005, he was appointed the organisation’s Honorary President. Leinen served as Vice President of the European Movement International (EMI) from 2003 to 2011, before serving as its President between November 2011 and November 2017 and being named Honorary President of the organisation.
Dr. Angela Stanzel
Senior Policy Fellow, Asia programme, European Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin Office
Dr Angela Stanzel is a senior policy fellow in the Asia programme of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). She is also the editor of China Analysis, a quarterly analytical survey of Chinese news and debate published by the ECFR. Alongside China’s foreign policy and EU–China relations, her research work focuses on South Asia in the context of China’s rise. She is the author of a range of publications and a frequent commentator in international media. Before joining the ECFR in 2014, Angela worked for the BMW Foundation and the International Affairs Office of the Koerber Foundation in Berlin. Prior to that, she worked in Brussels for the German Marshall Fund of the United States (Asia programme) and in Beijing for the German embassy (cultural section) as well as for several event and marketing firms. Angela Stanzel earned her PhD in Sinology at Freie Universität Berlin in 2013. She has also been a member of the Young China Watchers (YCW) in Berlin since 2015.
Dr. Sabine Stricker-Kellerer
Lawyer, SSK Asia, Germany
Dr Sabine Stricker-Kellerer advises on legal aspects of doing business in China based on her 30 years of experience in Chinese business and legal matters. She was the first lawyer to set up an office for a European law firm in China back in 1985. Dr Stricker-Kellerer is Chairperson of the International Advisory Committee of the German Federal Minister of Economics, member of the Sino-German Dialogue Forum. She is active as an international arbitrator with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and other Asian arbitration institutions. She studied law in Munich, Geneva and Harvard.
Head of China Business Services Germany, Switzerland and Austria; Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, EY, Germany
Sun Yi, born in Shanghai, learned German at an elite boarding school in Shanghai. After her first degree in German literature she obtained a master’s degree in Economics and Business Studies (Diplom-Kauffrau) in Germany. In 2006, Sun Yi joined EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and in 2011 she became the first Chinese native speaker to work as a partner in a Big Four audit firm in Germany and the youngest partner at EY. Alongside her role as partner in Transaction Advisory Services, Sun also leads EY’s China Business Services in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. She has more than 14 years of experience in cross-border business with China and, with her team, has acted as an advisor to most landmark transactions by Chinese investors in Europe during the last six years.