German government and industry woo Chinese investors | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 12.06.2012
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German government and industry woo Chinese investors

German government and industry leaders have said they want to do more to attract foreign direct investment from Asia and China in particular. It's time to do away with decades-old misconceptions, they demanded.

German government and business leaders want to team up to secure more direct investment from Asian nations.

"We want to do away with the prejudice that such direct investment offensives are harmful for our economy," German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler said in Berlin on Tuesday. "On the contrary, we want them, and they're welcome," he added with China on his mind as Germany's third most important trade partner.

Rösler argued a strong export nation like Germany should have a vested interest in sticking to the principles of free markets, free trade and fair competition. With his encouragement for Chinese companies to invest more, the minister hoped to send out a signal of his country's openness.

Disparities at hand

Siemens Chief Executive Peter Löscher said there were grave imbalances in investment activities. While the German business community had invested 73 billion euros ($91.3 billion) in Asian nations in the past couple of years, Asian direct investment in Germany had amounted to just 22 billion euros.

Trade discrepancies were even more drastic in the case of China which only allocated 775 million euros for business projects in Germany between 2005 and 2010.

Both Rösler and Löscher emphasized that they were interested in dispelling die-hard misconceptions about Chinese investment strategies and tactics. They added that old fears of China only being interested in getting access to German top-notch technologies were no longer justified. "As to our innovative strength, Germany and China are on a par now," Löscher claimed.

hg/mz (Reuters, AFP, dapd)