European Union

China’s German ambassador says market will open but not all at once

  • Relations between the two countries ‘closer than any other’
  • Further opening will take time as China still industrialising
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2018, 5:36pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2018, 5:36pm

China will not fully open its market to foreign partners while there are concerns of the impact on its own businesses, according to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt on Thursday.

China’s German ambassador Shi Mingde told the newspaper his country’s ties to Germany were closer than to any other country, but that it still could not fully open its market to foreign partners.

Beijing and Berlin are close allies in the fight to preserve the open international trading system that has made them both exporting powerhouses.

German businesses complain, however, that they do not enjoy the freedom to invest in China that the Chinese do in Europe.

Trade ties may bind but trust is the glue to a strong China-Germany relationship

“Political relations between China and Germany are as close and as good as never before”, Shi said.

“With no other country does China maintain such intense relations.”

But Shi said China needed to be cautious about foreign investment.

Despite its integration into the world economy, China was still industrialising, he said, and so could not entirely open its market.

“I admit that the German market is more open than the Chinese market, and we will continue to open,” Shi said, “but not all at once, because we have to protect our domestic businesses”.

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Asked about Germany’s signals to create mechanisms to shield strategically sensitive companies against takeovers by Chinese investors, Shi said those fears were “totally groundless”.

“In most Chinese takeovers, two or three managers arrive from Beijing, but the leadership team stays,” he said, adding that companies would then get more orders from China and full access to the Chinese market.