German Chancellor Angela Merkel begins her eighth visit to China tomorrow less than a week after the mainland's special relationship with Britain was hailed as experiencing a "golden era" following President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain. However, Germany was keen to reinforce its own "excellent relations" with the mainland, said Michael Clauss, the German ambassador to China. Merkel was expected to hold meetings with state leaders in Beijing before travelling with Premier Li Keqiang to Hefei , the capital city of his home province of Anhui, Clauss said. READ MORE: Xi Jinping's UK visit shows the changing face of Sino-British relations "Among the leaders of Western countries she is the one most frequently making visits to China - and knows China best," he said. Merkel has visited seven cities across China since taking office in 2005, including Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Tianjin, the hometown of former Premier Wen Jiabao . The chancellor's forthcoming trip to Hefei was also "a very important gesture" to emphasise her "close personal ties" with Li and also the two nations' "excellent relations", Clauss said. Merkel will lead a business delegation to China during the two-day visit, a spokesman for the German embassy said. Among the business leaders taking part will be Volkswagen's new chief executive Matthias Mueller, who will meet the heads of VW's two Chinese joint ventures following the scandal in which the company was found to have rigged emission tests on its vehicles, Reuters reported. The Deutsche Boerse, the German stock exchange, was also set to reach a cooperation agreement with a Chinese financial market operator during the visit, among other deals, a German government official told Reuters. Deals totalling £40 billion (HK$480 billion) were signed between London and Beijing during last week's state visit in Britain, but that "definitely won't be the case with us" the German official said, adding that the nation was seeking to remain China's most important business partner within the European Union. "Our bilateral trade volume is three times larger than those of our closest European competitors," Clauss said. In 2014, bilateral trade between the two nations hit a record €154 billion (HK$1.3 trillion), accounting for 48 per cent of Germany's total trade volume in Asia, said a report by the German Chamber of Commerce in China. Among the leaders of Western countries [Merkel] is the one most frequently making visits to China - and knows China best Michael Clauss, the German ambassador to China Politically, Germany is also the only country with which China has established fully fledged intergovernmental consultations at cabinet level. It means that every other year the German chancellor and the Chinese premier meet 15 or more of the other nation's ministers. During Xi's state visit last week, both Britain and China pledged to create a "global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century". Clauss said the bilateral ties between China and Germany were "very mature and on an equal footing". Germany had long maintained "a consistent course" in dealings with China, on "difficult issues, such as human rights or cybersecurity". Observers said other regional and international issues would be discussed, including the European refugee crisis, reforms within the eurozone and the inclusion of the yuan in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights currency basket, which would put it on a par with the world's top currencies, the dollar, yen, euro and pound sterling. On Monday, a spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said China had said it was interested in becoming a member of the bank to help it further participate in funding infrastructure and other investments in Europe. Roland Vogt, director of the European studies programme at the University of Hong Kong, said Berlin was keen to hear from Beijing about Xi's state visit to Britain, but Beijing would be interested in Germany's Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States. China was one of Germany's most lucrative export markets and there was potential for more growth, while Beijing valued Berlin's political influence in the EU, Vogt said. "For all the success of Xi's UK state visit, the UK's ambivalent position towards the EU makes it - in China's eyes - a less useful and influential partner in Europe than Germany," he said. French President François Hollande is planning to visit China next week. "The visits imply a sense of competition between EU members for the Chinese market," said Cui Hongjian, director of the China Institute of International Studies' European division. Vogt said the three European nations consulted closely to try to work together to push for common positions, such as greater access to the Chinese market and better investment opportunities.