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Pragmatic China-Germany ties seen helping global recovery

In this Oct 29, 2015 photo, Chinese and German national flags fly on Tiananmen Square in Beijing on the occasion of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s two-day visit to China. (PHOTO / IC)

BERLIN – Pragmatic China-Germany cooperation is essential and will make greater contribution to global economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chinese and German politicians and businessmen ahead of the German federal election, which is scheduled for Sept 26.

Pragmatic cooperation

Both the Chinese and German economic communities want to maintain pragmatic cooperation, said Wang Weidong, chief of the economic and commercial department at the Chinese Embassy in Germany.

“The world is facing huge challenges nowadays, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, digital transformation and geopolitical changes,” he said.

Both the Chinese and German economic communities want to maintain pragmatic cooperation, said Wang Weidong, chief of the economic and commercial department at the Chinese Embassy in Germany

Wang told Xinhua that only through pragmatic cooperation and overcoming ideological differences and political manipulation can companies gain more opportunities for cooperation.

He said that China’s development has in fact brought far more opportunities than risks to German companies, and they have already reaped huge benefits from China’s development, which has boosted their own development.

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“German companies are in fact looking for pragmatic cooperation,” Wang added.

Zheng Donglin, president of the Chinese chamber of commerce in Germany, said that the continued economic upturn in China will continue to make an important contribution to the recovery of the world economy.

“While the economies of China and Germany are gradually recovering, we should also recognize that the overall world economic recovery is still difficult and slow, which requires China and Germany to continue to strengthen their cooperation and continue to make a greater contribution to the recovery of the world economy,” Zheng said.

Mutual Benefit

Pragmatic cooperation between Germany and China is not only necessary, but also good for their business development.

In a statement to Xinhua, the BMW Group said that for many years, Germany and China have been important trade partners, which greatly benefits German and Chinese international companies including the BMW Group.

“We would welcome a stable and open business environment that will provide companies from both sides with more beneficial and reciprocal trade opportunities,” it read.

German automotive supplies manufacturer Webasto, which has been active in the Chinese market for 20 years, has developed a battery system especially for the Chinese market in collaboration with Chinese automakers.

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And the collaboration pays off as Webasto has already received an initial order from Great Wall Motors, China’s leading sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufacturer.

Andreas Nicolin, an official with the German federal ministry of economic affairs and energy, said that China has been Germany’s largest trading partner since 2016, with two-way trade amounting to around 212 billion euros ($248.44 billion) in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The analysis of the current situation shows that Germany and China remain politically and economically important partners and their economic relations will continue to be strong, he said.

In the opinion of Volker Treier, member of the executive board of German chamber of industry and commerce, if China did not recover in time, the German economy would have a much more difficult time in 2021.

China is an important market and remains very important from the point of view of the German economy, he said.

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About 90 percent of German companies in China are doing production business for the Chinese market and it is economically undesirable for them to leave China, because they cannot serve the Chinese market if they are not there, Treier said.

More and more German companies have the will to do R&D services in China and diversify their supply chains, he said.  

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