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German business shows confidence in Chinese economy

China Daily | Updated: 2010-05-19 08:00

The Sino-German economic and industrial cooperation is a remarkable success story, and the German Chamber of Commerce in China and its members are committed to further encouraging this noteworthy development.

Further expansion of domestic consumption and improving the quality of economic growth remain the top priorities of China's forthcoming Five-Year-Plan.

As the Chinese economy with its huge domestic market matures, German companies are becoming increasingly important stakeholders in many industries and services - particularly the sectors of environment, machine building, transport and logistics, healthcare, electronics, chemicals and automotives.

German business shows confidence in Chinese economy

The German industry plays a key role in China's modernization process, and many German investments in China aim to serve the rapidly developing demand of the Chinese market and thus are here to stay.

They employ more than 200,000 domestic employees and manufacture and develop products locally in cooperation with Chinese partners according to local industry requirements.

To date, more than $16.6 billion of accumulated investment in the country has been contributed by German companies, signifying their vital part in the enrichment of the Chinese marketplace.

Representing the interests of German industry, the German Chamber of Commerce in China is a key economic partner to its host country and proud to serve its 1,800 members across the country.

We as the German Chamber help open doors to them among decision makers in China to promote the success of German industry in China. In particular we provide in-depth expertise to German companies, which are new to China, and assist them in getting established thereby ensuring that the Chinese market has access to sophisticated and globally successful German products and services.

We also support Chinese investors in their search for the right region and industry to set up their operations in Germany.

Regulatory and institutional barriers still pose significant challenges to German companies, including regulations related to mergers and acquisitions, local content, government procurement, certification procedures, patent law and protection against IPR infringements.

It remains a vital mission for export-oriented economies to contribute to an open climate when it comes to trade and investment. This is particularly true for the bilateral economic relation between China and Germany.

The bilateral trade volume in 2009 exceeded the combined trade volumes of China with Britain, France and Italy and amounted to 91.9 billion euros with Germany exporting goods worth 36.5 billion euros in 2009 and importing goods worth 55.4 billion euros from China.

The German Chamber of Commerce supports previous calls by the Chinese government for open markets. In this context, we positively acknowledge the Chinese government's commitment to include comments from the foreign business community during the design period of regulations, as currently is the case with the 'indigenous innovation' regulations. This highly positive signal makes the Chinese marketplace more predictable and consequently more attractive.

At the moment, a great part of our activities and events focus on environmental topics, among them the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which is supported by the German Government. In addition to this, the Chamber frequently launches initiatives related to renewable energies such as biogas, solar and wind energy along with a number of activities geared towards the reduction of conventional technologies. Topics such as healthcare, energy efficiency in construction and shipbuilding are continually at the top of our agenda.

A substantial number of successful German companies, particularly in the mid-size segment, have not yet entered the Chinese marketplace. But as the domestic economy matures, the German Chamber of Commerce in China is strengthening its efforts to showcase the market opportunities currently taking shape. Some of the most attractive sectors are the rapidly modernizing healthcare and environment sectors, in which German companies have a leading edge that can boost the restructuring.

Thus, for the coming years, we see outstanding opportunities to add many new chapters to the vibrant and successful history of Sino-German economic cooperation.

The author Jutta Ludwig is delegate and chief representative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Beijing, and executive director and member of the Board of the German Chamber of Commerce in Beijing

(China Daily 05/19/2010 page17)

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