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China overtakes US as Germany’s top trade partner

Jing Shuiyu
Updated: Feb 25,2017 9:16 AM     China Daily

China overtook the United States and France as Germany’s most important trading partner in 2016, data from the Germany’s Federal Statistics Office showed on Feb 24.

Trading volumes between Germany and China amounted to 170 billion euros ($180 billion) last year, according to the German statistics agency.

Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies, said he expected the Sino-German bilateral trade relationship to be further strengthened in the future, should the US administration pursue trade protectionism that might shake the confidence of a majority of Chinese exporters.

“The Trump administration has been pressing both China and Germany to appreciate their currency exchange rates to maintain the competitiveness for its manufacturing sectors,” Xue said.

“As it raised its currency value over the past several months, both China and Germany therefore are expected to forge closer business and political ties to tackle the challenge from the US under the current global business setting,” Xue added.

Prior to this, China had become Germany’s largest trading partner in Asia, and Germany has also ranked as China’s largest trading partner among the European Union members for years.

China’s trade volumes with Germany exceeded 999.1 billion yuan ($144 billion) in 2016, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics released by China’s General Administration of Customs.

Germany mainly exports mechanical and electrical products, transport equipment, and chemical products to China. It imports machinery, textiles, furniture and toys from China.

In terms of two-way investments, the accelerated growth has become an “important pillar” of economic and trade relations between the two countries, said Sun Jiwen, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, at a news conference earlier this month.

At the end of 2016, China gave green light to 9,394 German projects to invest in the country, with a total worth of $28.18 billion, according to the ministry.