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China companies see Germany as EU springboard

By Ding Qingfen  (China Daily)

08:21, February 26, 2013

Increasing numbers take advantage of the country's renowned factory know-how and global networks to gain wider access to the valuable Europearn market, as Ding Qingfen reports from Frankfurt, Germany

As two of the world's top manufacturers, China and Germany bear a strong resemblance to each other. But what is also important, is they complement each other well.

What cannot be ignored is that last year Chinese companies scooped a number of their German counterparts in gaining access to either know-how or the global sales network, and the trend looks set to continue.

Although some people may not be comfortable with China's ambitions, few should doubt the significance of the country's mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in rescuing companies in Europe's largest economy amid the European debt crisis as well as providing a boost to own economy.

"It's a noticeable trend that more Chinese companies cooperate with their German counterparts through M&As," said Wang Weidong, commercial consul-general at the Chinese Consulate in Frankfurt.

"They (both countries) need each other. We can say that China obtains the know-how from Germany, but for many German companies that have been struggling for capital and expansion in Asia, China is the best choice for partnership."

As Europe's largest economy and home to many small and medium-sized companies and manufacturers specializing in technological know-how, Germany is increasingly attractive to cash-rich Chinese enterprises.

As the largest direct investment by a Chinese company in a German firm, in August Chinese industrial manufacturer Shandong Heavy Industry Group took a 25 percent stake in Germany's Kion Group, the world's second-largest forklift maker, for 467 million euros ($619 million).

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