GERMAN and European trade with the Asia-Pacific region continues to increase. Increased imports of consumer goods from China and Hong Kong are helping boost container throughput at German ports. The port of Hamburg saw throughput increase 8.7 per cent to 1.3 million TEUs (20 foot equivalent units) in the first six months of this year. Growth was particularly strong on northeast Asian routes, which were up 9.4 per cent to 33,444 TEUs, a port spokesman said. The increase in German exports of capital goods, particularly to China, had a positive effect on outgoing container traffic, he said. Economic recovery in Germany, which began in the second half of last year, was based on a powerful surge in the demand for steel, particularly in east Asia. The ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven expect to handle more than 320,000 TEUs in Asia-Europe trade this year, up nearly 40 per cent. The majority of these containers pass through Bremerhaven on their way to, or from, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. Bremen has particularly close ties with these areas and furthers business contacts through information offices operated by Bremen Business International in these countries. The main products in the trade between Asia and the two ports are garments, textiles, electronic equipment, watches, clocks, telecommunications equipment and parts, machinery parts, toys, office machines and cars. Ten shipping lines offer regular weekly services between the main Asian ports and Bremen/Bremerhaven. On average, about nine container ships call daily at the Bremerhaven Container Terminal. Thirty-eight European ports, including the Scandinavian and Baltic states, are served from the ports by daily feeder services. 'With eastern European countries opening for trade, the ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven have a favourable geographical position in the heart of Europe,' Rolf Stuchtey, chairman of Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesselschaft (BLG), the company which runs the two ports, said. 'Our two ports have easy access to the main industrial centres of Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Baltic States and the Commonwealth of Independent States.'