Aachen, located in Northrhine-Westfalia, is a large city in West Germany. The two-thousand-year old city, once dubbed as “heart of the Europe”, now has a population of 240,000.
The sister-city relation between Aachen and Ningbo started in 1984 after Zhejiang province signed an agreement with the Northrhine-Westfalia.
During the period, the city sent experts and engineers to Ningbo and engineers and scholars from Ningbo came to Aachen for study and exchange. The mayors of the two cities attached great importance to the mutual robust development so much that they proposed to build sister-city relations between the two cities.
In 1986, the sister-city relation was officially established. Since then, cultural and economic exchanges between the two cities have been flourishing.
Doctors from the two cities have also been working closely together. The Bechlchem Hospital in Stolberg near Aachen has become one of the highlights. At present, Doctor Du Xi from Ningbo is working closely with Doctor Detlef Marx, who studied TCM in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, to establish a department for Chinese herbal therapies.
Economic interactions between the two cities have been in rapid growth. Prym Company in Stolberg near Aachen, the oldest German family enterprise, set up Ningbo Prym Metal Products Co years ago. Since 1998, the company has been supplying press studs and metal accessories to many well-known European fashionwear companies. Nowadays, more than 170 companies from Aachen have business cooperation with China.
The most famous citizen of Aachen in China is Hermann Tilke, the 50-year-old engineer who designed and built the F1 motor-racing circuit in Shanghai. The 5.5-km circuit can accommodate 220,000 spectators and cost $300 million.