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Full text of Chinese premier's signed article on German newspaper


09:57, May 25, 2013

BERLIN, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday published a signed article on German weekly newspaper Die Zeit titled "Open Up New Horizon for China-Germany Relations."

The following is the full text of the English translation of the article:

I will soon be visiting Germany again to boost China's cooperation with Germany on all fronts. People may want to learn more about the visit, and I believe that one can find answers in both the historical evolution of and current necessity for China-Germany cooperation as well as in China's ongoing reform and opening up.

Why are China and Germany getting closer?

The reason is simple: Both our common interests and mutual need are growing. In recent years, we have enjoyed rapid growth in bilateral cooperation across the board, and we regard each other as one of our most important business partners. This bond has been enhanced by our joint response to the international financial crisis. Today, cooperation between our two countries has become the engine driving China-EU cooperation, with China-Germany trade taking up roughly 30 percent of China's total trade with Europe. According to statistics of China's Ministry of Commerce, German paid-in investment last year in China increased by 28.5 percent to reach 1.45 billion U.S. dollars, and China became the third largest foreign investor in Germany in terms of project number, next only to the United States and Switzerland. This is remarkable in a sluggish global economy.

China-Germany cooperation has contributed to our respective growth. China has a large market, which is our strength. But we have learnt a lot from Germany in terms of research and development, corporate governance and technologies. Germany is China's long-term partner in its pursuit of modernization. Cooperation with China has also stimulated Germany's growth. The Chinese market accounts for 30 percent of Volkswagen's global sales and is the largest market for BMW. China is also the third largest market for Siemens and BASF.

Can we aim for even closer cooperation?

The answer is yes. While China-Germany cooperation has reached a record level, we can do even better. Our two-way trade, which stands at over 160 billion dollars, is only about 4 percent of China's total foreign trade of 3.8 trillion dollars. And Germany's share of China's ever-growing outbound investment is still quite low. This means that there is great potential to be tapped in growing win-win business ties between our two countries.

What's more, China itself has vast space for development. We will work hard to double the size of the 2010 GDP and per capita income by 2020. China, a country with over 1.3 billion people, is simultaneously pursuing industrialization, application of information technologies, urbanization and agricultural modernization. Every year, over 10 million rural people move to cities. The mix of individual consumption is being upgraded, and economic structural adjustment is accelerating. All these will release huge potential in domestic demand.

In particular, reform in China will yield huge dividend. China has relied on reform to achieve sustained and fast growth in the past three decades or so, and it will continue to rely on reform for sustained and sound growth going forward. Reform in China has now entered a deep-water zone where tough challenges need to be tackled. We will fully deepen reform in key areas such as administrative system, fiscal policy and taxation, finance and pricing in order to shift the growth model, improve people's lives, promote social equity and unleash market potential and the driving force for development.

Opening up is also a kind of reform. To advance reform and development through opening up is an important experience we have gained. China follows a win-win strategy of opening up. We are vigorously promoting a new round of opening up to increase openness in both breadth and depth. We will make our trade in services still more open to drive the growth of the service sector. In the coming five years, China will import about ten trillion dollars of goods and invest 500 billion dollars overseas. Sustained economic growth and further reform and opening up will bring about an ever growing market in China. This will give Germany greater access to the Asian market and provide more opportunities for growth of German businesses and economic prosperity of Germany.

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