German minister attacks 'untransparent' China

6th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

German's economy minister slammed on Thursday conditions for Western firms operating in China ahead of a visit to Berlin by the country's Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

Speaking in business daily Handelsblatt, Rainer Bruederle said: "Improvements need to be made when it comes to market access for German firms on the Chinese market," citing in particular the insurance and banking sectors.

"Foreign firms still complain about a lack of transparency and predictability.

"On my visit to China, I often heard complaints that important regulations were introduced suddenly and without consulting the economic players involved," said the minister.

While Chinese legislation is increasingly in line with international standards, there "are failures in implementing this legislation", especially in the provinces, said Bruederle.

He praised the Chinese authorities however for "taking our concerns seriously and seeking to improve the investment environment for foreign companies."

Later on Thursday, Bruederle was due to meet Li, who has already visited Madrid as part of a European tour and is expected to travel onwards to London after Berlin.

On Friday, Li, widely tipped to be the next premier, was due to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

© 2011 AFP

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