Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Fruits of long-term friendship

(China Daily) Updated: 2011-06-30 08:12

Editor's note: The following is the full text of Premier Wen Jiabao's address at the sixth China-Germany forum for economic and technological cooperation held in Berlin on June 28, 2011.

Chancellor Angela Merkel,Ladies and Gentlemen,I am delighted to attend the China-Germany forum for economic and technological cooperation. This forum, as an important platform for enhancing exchanges and cooperation between the business communities of the two countries, has contributed much to promoting business relations between China and Germany. I wish to extend warm congratulations on the opening of the forum and pay high tribute to all of you for working so hard over the years to foster friendship between the two countries.

I have paid several visits to Germany since taking office as the Chinese premier, and each visit has left a deep impression on me. The Germans are a great people noted for their discipline, dedication to hard work, intellectual excellence and rigorous reasoning. Germany has produced many towering figures who with extraordinary vision and creativity made great contributions to the advance of human civilization.

The Chinese and Germans have a long history of friendly exchanges. The establishment of diplomatic ties ushered the China-Germany relationship into a new historical period. During my visit to Germany in 2004, the two countries announced the launch of the China-Germany partnership with global responsibility within the framework of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. In 2010, we signed the China-Germany Joint Communiqu on Comprehensively Promoting Strategic Partnership and agreed to establish a governmental consultation mechanism between China and Germany. Close business ties are a pillar of relations between China and Germany. Thanks to the joint efforts of the business communities of the two countries our business relations have flourished, bringing great benefits to our two peoples.

China and Germany are close business partners. Last year, the two-way trade exceeded $140 billion, accounting for close to one third of China's trade with the European Union. Over 7,000 German companies have been set up in China, with paid-in investment exceeding $17 billion, the highest among EU countries. With over 15,000 contracts for technology transfer to China worth over $50 billion, Germany is the largest source of China's technology imports from Europe. China and Germany have also maintained close communication and coordinated actions in fighting the international financial crisis, thus contributing to the global economic recovery.

The Chinese and German economies are highly complementary, and both have maintained sound growth. It is therefore fully possible for our business relations to enter a new stage of growth. The reason that I have brought with me a big government delegation and a large business delegation is to deepen our practical cooperation in all fields. We not only hope to sign more business agreements with German companies, but also hope to establish a governmental mechanism for consultation and coordination with Germany to institutionalize our consultations. To build stronger China-Germany business ties, we need to redouble efforts in the following areas:

We should expand trade

We need to fully tap into the potential for greater trade and take more trade facilitation measures. Our goal is to double the current trade volume in five years. China is ready to import more competitive German products, and we hope that Germany will recognize China's full market economy status at an early date to remove this obstacle to the growth of bilateral trade. China is committed to establishing an open government procurement system and treats all companies equally. In international bidding for mechanical and electric products conducted by China in 2010, the value of contracts won by German companies was the highest. China is applying to join the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. We hope that the relevant WTO members will adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach and make less demands of China. This will enable China to join this agreement at an early date.

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