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Focus at Hamburg Economic Summit


11-25-2016 00:43 BJT

The Hamburg Summit in Germany closes two days of meetings today, the 7th year in a row Chinese officials and business people have met with their European counterparts.

Among issues on the table this year were the latest China-Euro economic issues, the impact of Brexit, and the status of China's economic growth and reforms.

Five hundred-fifty officials and entrepreneurs attended this year's session, which updated the Europeans on China's One Belt One Road initiative and economic plans, but focused on the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union.

The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the organizer of the summit, says Germany will actually benefit from the Britain's departure from the European Union.

"This will be a hard time for European and Chinese relations," said Corinna Nienstedt, Director and Head of International Department, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

"And we think Germany, especially Hamburg can benefit from that because I think for the Chinese companies, it's important being and trading with countries that within and still members of the common market. And once Britain has left the common market, then it is less attractive for Chinese companies."

Last year's trade volume between China and Germany hit 1.6 billion US dollars, larger than the total volume of China's trade with the United Kingdom, France and Italy combined.

In addition to the Brexit issue, another factor drawing China and Europe closer together is US President-elect Donald Trump's abandonment of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.

Analysts argue the death of the TPP will raise China's international economic profile, and so make China-Europe economic relations.

"US is the largest economy in the world and in general market, very very open. So clearly for Europe, the US is absolutely key for the present. But when you think about the future, the Chinese economy will be two times than the American economy," said David Gosset, Senior Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, CEIBS.

"So when you think about your future, clearly, China is going to be more important than the US for the very simple reason that the size of the economy and of course the size of the Chinese population."

The 12th round of negotiations on an EU-China Investment Agreement ended in Belgium in September. European Union nations invested 8.4 billion dollars in China between January and October this year, an increase of 41 percent year-on-year. China's foreign direct investment in Europe reached 23 billion dollars in 2015, a year-on-year jump of 44 percent.

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