European Small and Medium-Sized Companies presented an award to the former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji
The former Premier of China, Zhu Rongji was awarded the European SME Award (Europäischer Mittelstandspreis) by The European Union of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises together with the subsidiary branch, the German Union of Small and Medium-Enterprises together with the subsidiary branch, the German Union of Small and Medium-Sized Companies (UMU)
Zhu Rongji accepted the award in Peking on 7th December 2004. The former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, held the speech in Zhu Rongji´s honour.
In presenting the award to the former Chinese Premier, the president of the UMU and treasurer of the EUMU, Mr. Hermann Sturm explained, "The reforms implemented in China during Zhu Rongji´s term of office from 1998 to 2003 made foreign capital investment in China possible." He added that many small and medium-sized companies in Europe have benefited from these reforms. Without the efforts of Zhu Rongji, such companies would have had no chance within the Chinese markets. In particular, through the promotion of the Transrapid he contributed to the development of German advanced technologies. Many medium-sized and small service and delivery providers were able to win contracts through the promotion of major projects supported by foreign investors, such as the construction of the Shanghai subway system.
With Cina joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Zhu Rongji laid the foundation for the promotion of China to one of the greatest economic powers on Earth. Mr. Sturm added, "For over two decades, Zhu Rongji was the driving force behind rapid economic development within China. He has been to China what Ludwig Erhard was to Germany."