German business plans investment boost in China
Germany companies in China plan to increase their investments
Berlin -- German industry is planning to boost its investment in China's booming economy, a survey released on Tuesday said.
Around 40 percent of the German companies active in China planned to increase their investment in the Asian powerhouse economy, the survey by the German Chamber of Trade and Industry (DIHK) found.
The DIHK predicted that exports to China would continue to rise rapidly, with annual growth put at 10 percent in 2009, considerably faster than the overall growth in German exports.
Exports to China would represent almost 4 percent of total German exports in 2009, up from 3.1 percent this year, the DIHK said.
About 200,000 German jobs are now dependent on exports to China, according to the survey. "A third of German exports to Asia will be for customers in China," it said.
But it warned that the threat posed by rising inflation loomed over China's economic performance, with prices expected to rise by about 6 percent this year.
Japan and South Korea are Germany's most important trading partners in Asia after China.
DIHK foreign trade expert Axel Nitschke said Germany would defend its position as the world's top exporter this year, with exports soaring above a trillion euros.
Whether it could retain top spot ahead of China in 2009 depended largely on the strength of the euro.
"If the exchange rate stays above 1.50 dollars to the euro, Germany will still be world export champion next year," Nitschke said, noting that German companies tended to export to the euro zone, whereas China calculated its exports largely in dollars.
The DIHK predicted German exports would hit 1.080 trillion euros next year, up from 1.020 trillion euros this year.
German exports as a whole would grow just 6 percent next year, down from 7 percent this year and as much as 13.6 percent during 2006, it said.
Imports are expected to rise 7.5 percent this year and 6.5 percent over 2009, with the surplus on the German trade balance rising from 197 billion euros in 2007 to more than 200 billion euros this year and 215 billion next year.