Merkel’s visit to boost bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion

BRI projects can ben­e­fit from in­tro­duc­tion of Ger­man tech­nol­ogy

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s visit to China is ex­pected to boost bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially in terms of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI), ex­perts said on Thurs­day.

In a phone call on Wed­nes­day evening with Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang, Merkel ex­pressed an­tic­i­pa­tion of deep­en­ing the bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion with China in the com­plex in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. Li said China would like to work with Ger­many to sus­tain mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism and free trade.

Merkel is vis­it­ing China this week, the 12th since she be­came Ger­many’s chan­cel­lor, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

“China’s and Ger­many’s con­tri­bu­tions to the BRI have achieved great re­sults,” Gao Feng, spokesper­son of the Min­istry of Com­merce (MOFCOM), said on Thurs­day. “Com­pa­nies such as Siemens and Voith have co­op­er­ated closely with China in third mar­kets.”

Siemens, for ex­am­ple, has been co­op­er­at­ing with Chi­nese com­pa­nies on the BRI since 2018. It has al­ready built col­lab­o­ra­tion re­la­tion­ships with com­pa­nies in­clud­ing CGGC In­ter­na­tional in projects in mar­kets like In­done­sia and the Philip­pines.

These co­op­er­a­tion projects are not that un­usual. In­stead, they are but a small por­tion of the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ger­many un­der the BRI, Zhang Jian­ping, direc­tor gen­eral with the Cen­ter for Re­gional Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion un­der the MOFCOM, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

“Ger­many is very en­thu­si­as­tic about the BRI,” Zhang said. “In Cam­bo­dia, for ex­am­ple, the Hein­rich Böll Foun­da­tion, sup­ported by The Greens party from Ger­many, is work­ing closely with Chi­nese ex­perts in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, im­prov­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and lo­cal liveli­hoods.”

“In Africa, or­ga­ni­za­tional groups from Ger­many are also col­lab­o­rat­ing with Chi­nese ex­perts,” Zhang said.

“Trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ger­many is be­ing very closely watched,” Li Lezeng, a pro­fes­sor at Shang­hai’s Tongji Univer­sity, told the Global Times, es­pe­cially given the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in world trade and econ­omy. Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries can bring about much more.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Merkel’s itin­er­ary in­cludes Bei­jing and Wuhan in Cen­tral China’s Hubei Prov­ince. Some Ger­man com­pa­nies will also visit Chi­nese com­pa­nies and uni­ver­si­ties to seek co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in emerg­ing ar­eas such as self-driv­ing, ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

The ex­change of tech­nolo­gies be­tween China and Ger­many will also up­grade the projects un­der the BRI and fur­ther strengthen the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries, Zhang said.

Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ger­many has been strength­en­ing in re­cent years. Ac­cord­ing to Gao, from Jan­uary to July this year, bi­lat­eral trade reached $107 bil­lion, in­creas­ing 2.4 per­cent year-on-year.

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