German CEOs: Pragmatic Business Relations between China and Germany | New

In a joint opinion piece published Thursday, executives of some of Germany’s biggest companies, including BASF and Siemens, called for a pragmatic approach to fostering economic and trade relations with China.

The editorial said the presence of German companies in the booming Chinese market also serves the interests of the German economy. The article was co-authored by executives from Merck, Bosch, Trumpf, Heraeus, Schaeffler and the Port of Hamburg, and was published in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

German Chancellor seeks to consolidate cooperation with China

The article takes stock of what business leaders see as mutual benefits of expanding bilateral trade relations with China. For Germany, they said the benefits can be measured, among other things, by the number of jobs related to China-related economic activities.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany. Over these five decades, China has achieved “tremendous growth, lifting 800 million people out of poverty and into a modern middle class,” the article said. Germany was able to contribute to this development through technology transfers, exports and investments, he said.

To maintain momentum, business leaders would like to see a pragmatic and interest-based approach to China, both from Germany and at the European Union (EU) level. “To turn our backs on China would cut us off from these opportunities,” they wrote.

The article was published a week after Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his first official visit to China. He was accompanied by top German business representatives, including BASF CEO Martin Brudermueller.

The forum highlighted the sustainability of the economy and society as one of the new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, which are “natural partners in the fight against climate change”.

Economies of scale in a growing Chinese market could help accelerate the deployment of new climate-friendly technologies that are essential to averting a dangerous degree of climate change, according to the editorial.

Currently, Germany is one of China’s most important trading partners in Europe, and China has been Germany’s largest trading partner for six consecutive years.

James R. Rhodes