FACTBOX-Sino-German ties in spotlight on Merkel visit

BEIJING, July 16 (BestGrowthStock) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel is in China this week on her fourth official visit to
the Asian powerhouse, looking to establish a stronger foothold
for German business, and to discuss the state of the global
economy.

She will meet top leaders including President Hu Jintao and
Premier Wen Jiabao, and visit the western Chinese city of
Xi’an, home of the 2,000-year-old terracotta warriors.

Below are some facts about relations between the two.

TOP PARTNER, STRONG TIES

* Germany is China’s top trade partner within the European
Union, with business equivalent to trade with Britain, France
and Italy combined. In the first half, trade was up 42.7
percent at $65.3 billion, according to official figures.

* China says it was the only export market among Germany’s
top 20 that did not cut spending on German products last year.

* Germans founded the Tsingtao brewery in 1903, whose beer
has become one of China’s better-known brands. There are other
ties dating back over a century, though many were ruptured by
the turmoil of Mao Zedong’s decades in power in the 1950s and
1960s.

* Last year, more than a million Germans visited China and
more than 230,000 Chinese made Germany their first stop in
Europe.

NEW DEALS

* Merkel’s delegation includes the bosses of carmaker
Volkswagen (VOWG.DE: ), industrial conglomerate Siemens
(SIEGn.DE: ), planemaker Airbus (EAD.PA: ), chemicals group BASF
(BASF.DE: ), retailer Metro (MEOG.DE: ) and lender Commerzbank
(CBKG.DE: ).

* Ten deals sealed during the visit ranged from green
energy to truck production. Highlights include Daimler AG’s
(DAIGn.DE: ) 50-50 truck venture with Beiqi Foton Motor Co
(600166.SS: ), worth 6.35 billion yuan ($936.9 million) and a
steam and gas turbine development project between Siemens and
Shanghai Electric Group.

* Volkswagen also said on Thursday it had signed a contract
to build a new plant in China. The firm plans to double Chinese
production to 3 million cars by 2013-14.

TOP CONCERNS

* Issues on the table for possible discussion include
China’s moves to make its yuan currency more flexible, the
eurozone crisis, implementing agreements made at the G20 summit
of major economies, climate change, and the Iranian nuclear
crisis. * Germany’s top concerns include intellectual property
rights — many of its firms are in high-tech areas from cars to
chemicals — market access, and rule of law. The two countries
have a long-standing dialogue on this last area, which has
informed some recent Chinese legislation.

* China wants the European Union to accord it market
economy status and end an embargo on arms sales imposed after
the government’s blhhhoody crackdown on pro-democracy
protestors centred on Tiananmen square on June 4, 1989.
Merkel’s visit will not bring substantive change on these
issues, though they are certain to come up.
($1=.7734 Euro)
($1=6.777 Yuan)
(Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Ken Wills)

FACTBOX-Sino-German ties in spotlight on Merkel visit