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Volker Müller: Witness of China's 33 Years of Change

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-08-04 09:38:15 | Author: Xu Xin & BI Weizi

Volker Müller. (COURTESY PHOTO)

By Xu Xin & BI Weizi

Volker Müller, a German with a background of electrical engineering, is now a Senior Government Affairs Desk Manager of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. He has actively promoted exchanges and communication between EU enterprises in China and China's health authorities at all levels, while providing technical support for China's medical device related policies and regulations.

Mountain city of Chongqing

When he first stepped onto the campus of Chongqing University 33 years ago as a researcher, Müller knew China was where he was meant to be.That first thought was reinforced after Müller ate the first bowl of spicy Chongqing noodle from a street stall. The mountains and waters, flowers and grasses, small streets and alleys in the city are unique, and the customs, history and cultural heritage seem to have a strong magnetic field.

There was actually almost no foreign investment and Europeans living in Chongqing at the time. Because of his love of Chinese culture and enthusiasm for the Chinese people, Müller has never wanted to leave China since he first arrived.

Turning to medical care

After leaving Chongqing, Müller moved to the bustling and beautiful city of Shanghai. There he entered the medical device field. "By pursuing a career in medical care, I could contribute to the health of 1.4 billion Chinese people," said Müller.

At the time China's medical device market had a lot of room for development compared to developed countries. China's per capita medical cost was only about 1/10th of some Nordic countries, but its medical costs are growing by about 20 percent per year.

AI in China is developing rapidly and in the leading position internationally, but some traditional mechanical products, such as high-end medical devices, still lag behind advanced international standards and rely on imports to a certain extent in the future, said Müller, adding that he is keen to assist in reducing  the shortcomings of Chinese medical devices.

The intermediator between China and Europe

"As a member of European Union Chamber of Commerce, we often communicate with representatives of the top 50 European medical device companies, and Chinese government agencies. We listen to them and solve the problems EU member companies encounter in China," said Müller.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce acts as a bridge between Chinese and European companies and shows China's image as an open, tolerant and friendly country in the international arena. Müller is the intermediator. He is deeply involved through the organization to strengthen cooperation between China and the European countries. His keenness and wisdom are also reflected in his training of next generations, who are the most important agents in advancing science and technology.

According to Müller the chamber also hopes promoting exchanges and training between Chinese and foreign universities and enterprises. "The European Union Chamber of Commerce participates in the project of China-Europe Research Express to provide information and funding for Chinese university students to study in Europe for scientific research, and to attract European scholars to China for scientific research. This project can promote international science and technology cooperation to a deeper and broader level, and strengthen the cooperative research between Chinese and EU countries' research institutions," said Müller.

As two major sources of scientific and technological innovations in the world, he believes that China and the EU are constantly deepening their cooperation in science and technology innovation, which has an important impact on global development.

The biggest change

Müller believes that the biggest change is the change of "people". As China reformed and opened up and moved toward prosperity and wealth, a large number of enterprises grew strong. The reform and opening up has opened the eyes of Chinese people and changed their mindset. Thirty years ago, when Müller went on a trek to a beautiful village 50 kilometers from Lijiang, Yunnan province, an old villager asked Müller about Lijiang, which shocked him at that time. He could not believe that the old villager had never been to Lijiang in his life where is so close.

Today, that has all changed. China's high-speed rail is well connected, airplanes are in the air, and a cell phone is at hand to help you travel the world. Many Chinese people can not only travel to other regions of the country for business, study and sightseeing, but also go abroad. "I'm really looking forward to seeing more changes China will make in the future," Müller said.


This story is in cooperation with the International Talent Magazine published by Foreign Talent Research Center of MOST.

Editor: 毕炜梓

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