German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Addresses SAP Thought Leadership Forum Dedicated to Informatization of Chinese Enterprises

SAP China and Jilin Provincial Government Sign MOU to Help Northeast China Business Managers Drive Enterprise Innovation through IT

ChangchunSAP China today announced that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder joined its SAP Thought Leadership Forum, “Developing the Future Through Cooperation and Informatization”, in Changchun, Jilin Province. As part of his official visit to China the Chancellor was the guest of honor at the event, which focused on helping Jilin Province’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and emerging private firms understand the critical role that information technology plays in driving business transformation.

Chancellor Schroeder addressed a distinguished audience including more than 100 senior executives from mostly state-owned Chinese enterprises; Mr. Li Jinbin, Vice-Governor of Jilin Province; German Ambassador to China Dr. Volker Stanzel; Chinese Ambassador to Germany Mr. Ma Canrong; Director General of the Jilin Department of Information Industry Mr. Qiu Wenyi; SAP customers; and representatives of third-party organizations such as the China National State Asset Commission and research company Economist Intelligence Unit.

Klaus Zimmer, president of SAP Greater China, explained the extension of the company’s successful “Lighthouse Strategy” to demonstrate the value of SAP® and its solutions to enterprises in China’s North-East. “Our Lighthouse Program will help companies in Northeast China apply their knowledge in new ways through innovative IT solutions while benefiting from the best practices that we and our customers across the country have developed together over the past decade,” said Zimmer. “Chinese enterprises have an opportunity to make tremendous strides, and China stands to be Asia’s largest enterprise application market by 2008. We are proud that SAP is a leading contributor to this nationwide transformation, and we are increasing our close cooperation with Chinese institutes and government organizations to enable Chinese enterprises to become more competitive and sustain growth,” he added.

At the Forum, SAP China and the Jilin Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a foundation dedicated to enabling Jilin’s local companies to more fully embrace and utilize advances in IT to power innovative and efficient business processes. Seen by both parties as a means to further accelerate the transformation and development of businesses in Northeast China, the foundation’s first step would be to launch a free local education program for managers of Jilin enterprises. This program would enhance SAP’s current education program, the SAP Seed Program, which has trained more than 50,000 students at ten leading Chinese universities in enterprise management software since 1997.

SAP’s investment in education and development of local enterprises builds on the substantial investments that it has also made in software development and customer support operations in China in recent years. These operations complement existing centers in Germany and other countries and enhance SAP’s overall development and support facilities.

The Vice-Governor of Jilin Province, Mr. Li Jinbin, praised SAP’s involvement in the region. “Our joint efforts with SAP will help management talents in Jilin Province to better apply IT to their businesses,” he said. “This will drive the competitiveness of our enterprises, increase the region’s appeal to local and international investors and help ensure that Jilin Province remains one of China’s leading industrial regions.”

The synergy of technology and education in transforming Chinese businesses was also emphasized by Paul Cavey, Senior Analyst from Economist Intelligence Unit, who spoke at the Forum. Noting the results of a recent EIU study of Asia-Pacific business growth strategies, Mr. Cavey said, “Managers from China and elsewhere around the region see IT-enabled productivity gains and deeper customer relationships as essential to their future growth. Companies such as SAP that bring together technology, industry experience and business-process skills will be in the best position to enable that growth.”