German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel( right in the picture) said at a forum in Beijing on Tuesday the Chinese leadership had realized the country's growth model of the past had come at a huge cost for the environment. He said there was agreement much greater energy efficiency and a big reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions was urgently required in the face of poisoned rivers and massive air pollution.
"That's why I believe that it will be absolutely critical for the Chinese economy to invest heavily in sustainable and environmentally-friendly growth," Gabriel said in his address to policy-makers and energy experts.
The head of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Xu Shaoshi (left in the picture), said he'd welcome a much closer cooperation with German companies in the field of environmental protection and the energy sector, arguing that Germany was able to offer top-notch technology as the country was in the middle of an unparalleled energy transition.
Fair competition a must
"The combination of German innovative clout and Chinese speed in implementing economic measures could go a long way towards stetting a global example of how best to reduce harmful emissions," Xu maintained.
Sigmar Gabriel for his part noted that there were still a couple of obstacles standing in the way of a more open economic cooperation. He said current regulations to protect patents and intellectual property at large were unsatisfactory. In addition, foreign companies were still being put at a disadvantage when it came to public tenders, the minister criticized.
China is Germany's biggest trade partner outside the European Union. In 2013, bilateral trade amounted to 140 billion euros ($193.2 billion).
hg/dr (Reuters, dpa)