News from Berlin

Merkel Encourages Further Trade With China

October 13th, 2014
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News from Berlin – On October 10th Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Berlin to engage in a number of bilateral talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The discussions were mainly focused on trade and the global economy, with the motto: “Innovation Partnership”.

Despite China’s slow growth in recent months, Li Keqiang announced that China’s target of 7.5 percent growth for this year is achievable and Merkel discussed fair market conditions with the Chinese market in a time where the Eurozone economy is slowing.

With Germany being China’s fifth biggest export destination, Merkel encouraged a further expansion of trade with China and urged China to ensure free access to Chinese markets for foreign firms: “I pointed out that we can imagine Chinese companies in Germany as well as German companies in China and we also spoke about fair market access conditions on both the Chinese market and for Chinese companies on the German market”, Merkel explained at a joint news conference with Li. Li agreed that China was ready to ease access to markets.

Trade between Germany and China grew by merely 0.3 percent last year according to data supplied by the Chinese Embassy in Berlin, whilst German direct investment to China rose 45 percent to more than $2 billion.

Merkel said, “In the difficult situation we’re seeing in the global economy, it’s a sign of stability that German-Chinese economic cooperation is developing nicely”. German firms, including Deutsche Telekom AG, Volkswagen AG and Deutsche Boerse are among the companies expected to sign agreements with Chinese counterparts as bilateral ties between Germany and China deepen.

Although economic cooperation dominated the talks, topics including Ukraine, the threat of Islamic State and mass demonstrations in Hong Kong also featured on the agenda. Merkel said she touched upon human rights in her talks with Li and expressed concern that the protests in Hong Kong would not escalate to violence.

News from Berlin – Berlin Global