Germany, China ink $15 billion in deals

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China and Germany signed more than $15 billion worth of deals on Tuesday during a visit to Berlin of high-ranking business and political leaders, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said.

"The contracts signed today represent more than $15 billion," Wen told reporters in a joint news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German capital.

The 14 agreements inked after the German and Chinese governments held their first joint cabinet meeting included four purely commercial deals, the biggest being an order for 62 A320s from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

No financial details were given but German press reports said the framework agreement was worth more than seven billion euros ($10 billion).

It was signed by Airbus chief Tom Enders, China Aviation Supplies head Li Hai and Li Xiaopeng, Industrial and Commerce Bank of China Leasing chairman.

Other contracts included one for an electric car project between German auto giant Volkswagen and its Chinese partner FAW and a factory in Foshan.

VW also signed a deal with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, while Daimler and the Beijing Benz Automotive Company inked an agreement on investment in new products, engines and a research and development centre.

The world's second and fourth-biggest economies, with 130 billion euros in bilateral trade in 2010, also signed a series of agreements to deepen cooperation in different areas.

These included a commitment to cut red tape blocking mutual investments, to work together on improving energy efficiency in construction and to deepen cooperation in agriculture and science, a German government statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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