Chinese FM highlights China-Germany trade ties amid calls for reducing reliance in Berlin
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday highlighted “positive contributions” of Chinese companies operating in Germany and stressed that China-Germany cooperation are mutually beneficial, when commenting on a recent survey of Chinese firms in the European country.
The comment also comes as a new German chancellor has taken office and as some are raising concerns about uncertainties in China-Germany relations amid certain anti-China voices in Germany and Europe, analysts noted, adding that both sides should focus on mutually beneficial cooperation.
At a regular press conference on Tuesday, Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson, said that Chinese enterprises in Germany had made significant contribution to the local economy, citing a recent survey from the main Chinese business group in Germany.
“The essence of Sino-German cooperation is mutual benefit and win-win results, and the direct beneficiaries are the peoples of China and Germany,” Wang stressed.
According to the survey, the 350 Chinese enterprises surveyed had created a total of 50,000 job opportunities in Germany, and the number of local employees account for 93 percent of their total staff.
More than 70 percent of Chinese enterprises indicated that they planned to invest more in Germany and over 90 percent of Chinese enterprises had included the goal of meeting social responsibilities in their agendas, said the report.
“The remarks about China-Germany cooperation was intended to disprove some ‘noise’ in the German political arena during the government transition period,” Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Cui pointed out that a report published by a think tank directly belonging to Germany’s Chancellery suggested that Chinese enterprises in Germany only solve 2 percent of the country’s employment.
“Even though the report might be used as an excuse to persuade Germany to end its ‘excessive reliance’ on China, the data of the report was obviously baseless, because China is Germany’s largest bilateral trade partner currently,” said Cui.
At the press briefing on Tuesday, Wang also pointed to the strong momentum in China-Germany trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which showed “strong resilience and huge potential” for economic cooperation between China and Germany.
According to German official data, Germany’s trade with China hit 212.1 billion euros ($240.1 billion) in 2020, making China Germany’s largest bilateral trade partner for five consecutive years, China News reported in February 2021. In the first 11 months of 2021, bilateral trade has increased by 15.9 percent year-on-year, according to Wang.
Meanwhile, German companies are also expanding in the Chinese market. German automaker BMW announced on Tuesday that it will start to produce the X5 mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle, which is currently made in US, in China, further decreasing price in the Chinese market. A senior BMW executive also said on Mon that China is a “global benchmark” for expanding openness to the outside world and strengthening global cooperation.
“We always welcome companies from all over the world, including Germany, to invest in China…We also hope that Germany will continue to provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies,” Wang said.
Source: Global Times