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Stephanie Spinner-König: BRI will Promote Trade & Investment

Volume 4, 2017

Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria

~ Munich, September 13

“The Chamber is focusing on supporting Bavarian-Chinese business-relations; and with a look at the facts, things are developing quite impressively. Last year Germany exported more than €76 billion worth of goods and services to China. Imports from China totalled almost €94 billion. Currently, there are more than 5,200 German companies in China, which provides more than one million jobs there. Twenty seven percent of Germany’s total exports to China and 15% of Germany’s total imports from China are from and to Bavaria. Quite remarkable, keeping in mind that Bavaria is only one out of 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany.

If Bavaria were an independent country, it would rank twentieth among the largest export nations (after Malaysia and before Switzerland) with total exports of €182 billion in 2016. Vehicles, electrical products and machinery are the most important export product groups. Together they make up an export share of 65%.

We have no doubt that the Bavarian economy will continue to be an engine of growth in Germany and Europe. However, we are concerned about the rise of protectionism in countries like the US and UK. From our point of view, there is no alternative to free trade and an open economy. We also believe that the social counterpart to the system of free trade is democracy, diversity of opinion and freedom of speech.

When Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, was invited to the High-Level Dialogue of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May 2017, she met with high-ranking officials, including President Xi Jinping. She underlined that open markets, equal treatment for foreign companies and the removal of the barriers to trade is most important for prosperity for all.

We are here today to share our vision of deeper economic ties, which can only come to full benefit under the rule of law and equal opportunities for everyone. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a great chance to improve infrastructure between Asia and Europe – as a requirement to promote trade and investment. Bavarian companies want to deepen their cooperation with Asia, based on true partnership, mutual benefit and a level playing field.

Today’s conference will give us the opportunity to discuss the BRI and even more chances for having win-win cooperation between Germany, Bavaria and China.”