The Sino-German relations, especially in the field of economics and trade have a long history already. The last five years in particular have been fruitful in terms of cooperation and investments. Germany is, with over 50 billion USD the biggest European investor in China and since times are changing, also numerous Chinese investors feel attracted to the trade location Germany. That’s why the – already second – Investor Conference organized by the German Embassy in Beijing successfully took place in the German Embassy at the beginning of December. The over 100 participants from the Chinese business and industry sector enjoyed various speeches from high profile experts like Lothar Herrmann, the CEO from Siemens China or Wang Boming, the chief editor of Caijing. Since Chinese direct investments abroad increased by 16,5%, how the Ministry of Trade announced, Germany also wants to present itself as an attractive location for capital and business by introducing the advantages of “Going Germany” and also outline the challenges and circumstances you have to face when deciding to invest.
The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in China, Michael Clauss, opened the conference with a speech on the bilateral relations and the importance of cooperation between China and Germany. He introduced the current situation and the fact that Germany is already investing in China on a high scale while Chinese investments are also constantly rising. In total, German companies currently invest 30 times more in China than Chinese in Germany, but this is going to change very soon. Already over 900 Chinese companies operate successfully on German ground, number increasing. According to the Ambassador, the profitable alliance between the two countries is only at the start. Even though the growth of Chinas economy is stagnating, the reforms and innovations, especially the “Made in China 2025” plan, are promising for the further cooperation. Since Germany is working on the digitalizing of industrial production an innovation partnership could arise and combine both aims, “Made in China 2025” as well as “Industry 4.0”.
But what’s so special about Germany as an investment location? Besides being the largest economy in Europe, Germany offers stability and a constant political line. Economically speaking, Germany is a worldwide leader in various technologies and can contribute efficient, skilled and highly qualified staff. Not only a good research environment but also a high developed and well-connected infrastructure is given. Also, Germany is open towards foreign investments, as no legal barriers exist and also getting a business visa is much easier right now than it used to be.
All in all, the participants of the conference agreed on the strategic importance of the cooperation for both countries’ economies. Germany will definitely be a big factor of Chinas modern industry development and China will help Germany to fulfil the Industry 4.0 aim.
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Richard Hoffmann is a partner at ECOVIS Beijing China. Richard obtained an honors degree in law and worked in Germany, the United States, and China for various prestigious law firms prior to joining ECOVIS. In addition to being a member of the board of ECOVIS International, he is Supervisor for the China business of a respected German company and shares his extensive knowledge to students by teaching commercial law in China at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg. He has published more than fifty articles in international magazines, frequently speaks at high profile events in China and abroad and is often invited as a legal expert by international TV stations. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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