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Business

Germany to Stay Export Champion, Says Trade Official

Despite a major challenge from China, Germany will defend its title as the world's export champion in the coming 12 months, according to a leading trade official.

Rolls of steel

According to statistics, Germany's trade surplus has risen

The slump in the dollar combined with slowing US growth would hurt Chinese trade more than German trade, Anton Boerner, head of the BGA exporters' association told DPA news agency on Wednesday, June 11.

"I even believe that we will remain the world's number one exporter in 2009," he said.

Boerner's optimism that Germany's export machine will continue to hold its own against the growing might of China's trading power comes despite the recent surge in the euro and signs that the global economy is losing momentum.

Exports to emerging countries rise

However, strong demand from the world's emerging economies resulted in German exports rising by 1.2 percent in April to produce a solid year-on-year increase of 13.9 percent, figures released Monday showed.

Drawn up by Germany's statistics office, the figures also showed Germany's trade surplus widening to 18.7 billion euros ($30 billion) in April, from 16.6 billion euros in March

In the meantime, underscoring the major role played by demand from emerging economies in shoring up German exports, the statistics office said exports to nations outside the EU rose by 18.4 percent in April compared with the same month in 2007.

During the same period, German exports to its partners in the 27-member EU rose 11.6 percent. Exports to the 15-member euro zone jumped 10.8 percent over the year.

Boerner expressed surprise in response to the latest export data, but added that fresh data was needed before it was possible to conclude that the figures were an aberration.

A change at the top of the world exporters league could be expected once the US manages to pull itself out of the economic trough it has slipped into.

"We should be happy if America emerges this year from a mild recession," said Boerner.

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