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A good year for Chinese investment in Germany

China has celebrated the Lunar New Year, welcoming the year of the rabbit, which in Chinese symbolism stands for success and prosperity. That might be a good omen for Chinese companies in Germany.

The economic crisis didn't keep Sany from investing in Germany

The economic crisis didn't keep Sany from investing in Germany

The Chinese company Sany has founded a subsidiary in Cologne, Germany. And the construction machine builder is not fooling around – Sany has already invested 100 million euros. Now Sany is constructing a new production facility in Bedburg, right outside of Cologne, that has a surface area of a few thousand square meters. Christiane Linkenbach from Sany’s press room explained proudly, "We expect we will be able to start producing around May or June. The second phase of construction is starting in May, when we start the construction of a further building of 10,000 square meters that will mainly be used for research and development."

The subsidiary has created nearly 130 new jobs within the past two years. And the company is desperately searching for more qualified personnel to work at its new production facility. Within the next three years, between 400 and 600 jobs will be created in Bedburg; they will generate medium-range annual earnings of 500 million euros for the company.

Sany will start up production at its new site near Cologne this year

Sany will start up production at its new site near Cologne this year

Highly qualified workforce

One of the main reasons the Chinese company chose Germany as a location was because German work force is highly qualified, according to Linkenbach. "When Sany was considering where to take their business in Europe, they decided on Germany because of our good quality, high work standards and excellent engineering."

At first only large state-owned companies came to Germany, but now more and more private smaller companies like Sany are also courageous enough to invest here. Not even the world-wide financial crisis was able to stop Chinese companies from expanding, according to Michael Pfeiffer, CEO of Germany Trade and Invest, a foreign trade and inward investment agency. He told Deutsche Welle that Germany is greatly profiting from it. "Chinese investments were predictable and dependable during the crisis. Chinese investments in Germany have grown over time. It is fascinating. Five or six years ago, we had about one or two handfuls of Chinese investors. Now we have around 60."

Half of Chinese investors in Europe

Michael Pfeiffer, CEO of Germany Trade and Invest, believes Chinese companies will continue to invest

Michael Pfeiffer, CEO of Germany Trade and Invest, believes Chinese companies will continue to invest

Nearly half of all Chinese investors looking to invest in Europe chose to come to Germany. They especially like investing in German engineering and communications companies – sectors where the stamp "Made in Germany" is a sign of quality known throughout the world. Chinese companies are also striving to produce quality products for world markets. Pfeiffer said investors profit from German expertise when they bring their business here. And, "it is important for Chinese companies to have locations that easily interact with other markets. We also have a very cooperative workforce that is able to meet up to demands."

It was not so easy for the first Chinese companies that came around the turn of the millennium. The investors didn’t have much knowledge about the German market nor about German laws. Pfeiffer said this has now changed. "It is obvious today that Chinese companies are very well informed before they come. They analyze the market and their own needs and then they dive into that market and aim for success."

Pfeiffer is certain this is the reason Chinese investors will continue to invest in Germany in the years to come. And he believes Germany certainly has a lot to gain from the job security that the Chinese are creating there.

Author: Christoph Ricking (sb)
Editor: Thomas Baerthlein

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