Govt lob­bies for level play­ing field in Ger­man deals

Call came af­ter Ber­lin with­drew its ap­proval of takeover of chip equip­ment maker

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONGNAN andHUYONGQI

TheMin­istry of Com­merce hopes the Ger­man gov­ern­ment’s re­cent in­ves­ti­ga­tion on a cross-bor­der ac­qui­si­tion by a Chi­nese com­pany is “an ex­cep­tion” and doesn’t rep­re­sent its eco­nomic pol­icy against Chi­nese busi­nesses, said the min­istry’s spokesman onWed­nes­day.

Shen Danyang, the spokesman, said even though Chi­nese in­vest­ment in Ger­many has grown rapidly in re­cent years, the to­tal vol­ume is still rel­a­tively small. It is un­nec­es­sary for Ger­man of­fi­cials to worry that Ger­man tech­nol­ogy and jobs will be lost as a re­sult of Chi­nese in­vest­ment.

His com­ments came af­ter Ger­many’s Fed­eral Min­istry for Eco­nomic Af­fairs and En­ergy with­drew its ap­proval of Fu­jian-based Grand Chip In­vest­ment Fund LP’s takeover of Ger­man chip equip­ment Li Guanghui, maker Aix­tron SE late last month, throw­ing up an un­ex­pected hur­dle for the 670-mil­lion-euro ($728 mil­lion) dealon­the­home­stretch.

The Ger­man gov­ern­ment said it had in­for­ma­tion in­di­cat­ing that Aix­tron had tech­nol­ogy that was rel­e­vant to se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially to the de­fense sec­tor, which could be ex­posed in a takeover. The deal was cleared by Ger­man gov­ern­ment on Sept 8.

China andGer­many should firmly push for­ward with lib­er­al­iza­tion of trade and in­vest­ment, as well as op­pose pro­tec­tion­ism, Premier Li Ke­qiang said, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment state­ment re­leased onWed­nes­day.

Li made the com­ments on Tues­day when he met Ger­man Econ­omy Minister Sig­mar Gabriel in Beijing.

China and theUnited States re­mained Ger­many’s two big­gest in­vestors in 2015, with projects num­ber­ing 260 and 252 re­spec­tively. Chi­nese com­pa­nies mainly in­vested in­Ger­many’s ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ing, elec­tron­ics and semicon­duc­tor, au­to­mo­tive, in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions and soft­ware sec­tors, ac­cord­ing to data from Ger­many Trade and In­vest, Ger­many’s of­fi­cial in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion agency.

Shen called for equal treat­ment of Chi­nese com­pa­nies in Ger­many, be­cause it would af­fect Sino-Ger­man busi­ness ties.

“The fu­ture of China-Ger­many busi­ness ties will be de­cided on trade in high-end goods, and­in­vest­men­tin­in­fras­truc­ture projects, high-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing and mul­ti­model lo­gis­tics ser­vices,” said Li Guanghui, vice-pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion in Beijing,

Li said de­spite both the Chi­nese and Ger­man economies hav­ing been af­fected by the global eco­nomic down­turn, the de­gree of in­ter­de­pen­dence be­tween the two re­mains sta­ble in bi­lat­eral cross-in­dus­try in­vest­ment and trade.

Chi­nese home ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­turer Midea Group of­fered to take a 95 per­cent hold­ing in Ger­man ro­bot­ics man­u­fac­turer Kuka AG in Au­gust, and the Ger­man gov­ern­ment said it would not block the ac­qui­si­tion as it would not en­dan­ger the Ger­man na­tional se­cu­rity.

The fu­ture of China-Ger­many busi­ness ties will be de­cided on trade in high-end goods...”

vice-pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion

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