China and Germany vow to improve mutual investment and trade environment
China and Germany on Tuesday vowed to create a better environment for mutual investment and trade. The remarks were made during a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. Li said the two countries should push forward the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment to send a clear signal against trade protectionism. “During your visit, you have expressed support for the European Union’s fulfillment to obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO),” Li said.
WTO obligations require that the EU ends its “surrogate country system” by Dec. 11, 2016, under which costs of production in a third country are used to calculate the value of products from non-market economies. Li told Gabriel that China hopes Germany will implement its commitment with action. “China will open its doors wider to the outside world and welcome expanded investments from enterprises of both countries,” Li said.
Hailing the momentum in the development of China-Germany ties, Li said that the common interests between China and Germany far outweigh the differences. Before his visit to China, Gabriel published an article in German media stating that China should abide by the rules if it wants market economy status. Others in Europe have also been wary of China’s commitment to European investment.
“The EU wants a China with significantly improved market access for foreign companies as well as a level playing field for fair competition and without discrimination against our commercial actors,” EU ambassador to China, Hans Dietmar Schweisgut said in an article Tuesday.
China is one of the most open developing economies and is committed to opening wider to the outside world and providing more investment opportunities for foreign companies and better investment environment, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing Wednesday. “European investment to China has kept rising in recent years,” Hua said, adding that the amount of European investment in China is much larger than the volume of Chinese investment to Europe. Germany has more than 8,000 companies in China while there are less than 2,000 Chinese companies in Germany, said Hua, urging Schweisgut to make an objective evaluation on China’s investment environment.
During his meeting with Li on Tuesday, Gabriel said Germany welcomes more investment from Chinese companies and is ready to work with China to create a better environment for investment on both sides, and jointly send a positive signal for the stable development of Germany-China ties and Europe-China relations.