Statement of the Delegations of German Industry & Commerce in China on the fifth German- Chinese intergovernmental consultations

09.07.18 AHK China - News-Hauptkategorie, Press Statement, Press Release

On July 9, 2018, high-level political and business representatives from Germany and China will gather for the fifth intergovernmental consultations in Berlin. This kind of consultation meetings are held exclusively between the German and Chinese Governments, which underlines the close and unique partnership between both countries.  

Germany and China are closely connected by an economic success story: For the second year in a row, China is Germany's most important trading partner worldwide. With an investment volume of almost 80 billion euros in China, more than 5,000 German companies are currently active and contributed to the development of the country by creating around 1.1 million jobs. Chinese companies are also steadily expanding their presence in Europe and profit from the open German and European markets. The German-Chinese trade volume reached a value of around 187 billion euros in 2017 and accounted for almost 30 percent of total trade volume between the European Union and China. In 2017, German exports to China amounted to around 86 billion euros, with German imports also rising and accounting for around 101 billion euros.

Apart from bilateral agreements, which advance the strategic dialogue on security and foreign policy, the German-Chinese dialogue on the Rule of Law and human rights, as well as the cultural and youth exchange, the parties will also formulate agreements on deepening cooperation in business, trade, investment and innovation. Concurrently, the high-level bilateral 9th German-Chinese Forum for Economic and Technological Cooperation will also take place in Berlin.

The intergovernmental consultations offer a unique opportunity to address the improvement of business conditions of German companies operating in China. “Despite a successful 2017, and an encouraging start of the fiscal year 2018, German companies still face a number of challenges in China“, explains Simone Pohl, Delegate and Chief Representative of Delegation of German Industry and Commerce Shanghai.

Slow cross border internet speed and limited internet access, uncertainty surrounding the Cybersecurity Law, which came into effect in June 2017, insufficient legal certainty and protection of intellectual property rights as well as a shortage of skilled labor remain the biggest challenges for German companies operating in China. In times of digital transformation and large scale industrial initiatives such as "Industrie 4.0" and "Made in China 2025," almost 70% of companies surveyed by the German Chamber of Commerce consider innovations in China, for China, and with China as a business priority. Prerequisites for a sustainable cooperation in this area are common international technical standards, similar IT infrastructures, the protection of trade secrets and the avoidance of unwanted technology transfers.

The Delegations of German Industry and Commerce in China expect the bilateral consultations to address these challenges and identify solutions. "The recently shortened negative list for foreign investment is an important impulse. Nonetheless, enhanced market access and a level playing field must be further advanced alongside an improved regulatory framework", says Pohl. The 5th German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations are convening at a time when it is particularly important to advocate for transparent and reliable rules for Sino-German relations.

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