Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked with business leaders from the two countries while attending a symposium of the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee on May 24.
Issues they discussed included international trade, investment environment, two-way opening-up, financial cooperation and intellectual property protection. The event was attended by enterprises such as the State Grid, Huawei, Geely, Siemens and BASF.
Premier Li said, as this year marks the beginning of the new term of both Chinese and German governments, it is meaningful that enterprises from the two countries discuss bilateral cooperation.
The cooperation between China and Germany is reciprocal and will benefit not only the two peoples, but also Europe and the whole world, he said.
As the largest respective economies in Asia and Europe, China and Germany have the responsibility to protect the multilateral trade system which is based on rules, oppose protectionism and unilateralism, and support free and convenient trade and investment, the Premier said.
According to Premier Li, China’s reform and opening-up over the past four decades was a process of reform through opening-up. At the recent Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018, President Xi Jinping announced four measures for further opening-up, one of which is to create a more attractive investment environment.
The Premier said China will expand the business scope of foreign-funded financial institutions in China, relax foreign equity restrictions in banking, securities and insurance industries and gradually ease those restrictions on the automobile sector, while significantly cutting import tariffs on foreign vehicles and some drugs.
He expected German companies to make use of their advantages and elevate the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Germany to a higher level.
Opening-up should be two-way, the Premier noted, saying that Germany should regard Chinese enterprises as equal and reliable partners, and create a fairer and easier business environment for them.
He also hoped that the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee will continue to build platforms for business exchanges as well as channels for dialogue between the business community and the government, so as to push forward bilateral cooperation.
The maturing committee mechanism has provided a platform for open communication between the two sides, Merkel said, adding that two-way investments have maintained a sound momentum of development and will bring benefits to the two countries.
She also hoped that equal access will be provided to mutual investments by enterprises from both countries.