China, Germany should seek new ways for economic cooperation: experts
One of the main features of the current Sino-German economic and trade cooperation is technology exchanges, as Germany is a world leader in advanced technology, yet its markets are limited.
As such, German companies often provide their technologies to Chinese companies in exchange for broader market access since China, with a relatively big market, needs more technological innovation to further boost economic development.
Wang Jiangping, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, says China will continue to broaden its market access.
"We have been continuing to ease the market access by lowering the threshold and creating a sound business environment in accordance with the demands from the World Bank. All our policies are open and inclusive. President Xi Jinping announced several major steps to expand opening up at the Boao Forum for Asia, which also demonstrated the Chinese government's determination," says Wang.
Yang Lixin, head of the China Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Center in Germany, suggests German companies should also be looking to explore how to open certain Chinese markets themselves, rather than just complaining that China's market is not open enough.
"Many German companies feel it difficult to enter the Chinese market, mainly because they do not know how to open markets in China. To build a close partnership of cooperation with their Chinese partners, German companies should stop blaming China for high market threshold when frictions occur," says Yang.
Tang Min, a counselor of the State Council, China's cabinet, suggests there should be new ways of cooperation rather than exchanging technology for market access.
"Cooperation between China and Germany should not be confined to technology, but should include sales and markets. Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and China are all big exporting countries. We should unite together, avoid trade frictions, and find new ways to cope with the challenges ahead. We can make good use of the opportunities provided by the Belt and Road Initiative to break the bottleneck through cross-border e-commerce," says Tang.
He adds that many Chinese firms overseas have already benefited from cross-border e-commerce.
"Many Chinese companies have built warehouses overseas, combining their traditional ways of trading with local retailers. They export their goods in batches, and retail them through e-commerce when the goods arrive overseas, which significantly increase the efficiency of logistics and lower the costs," says Tang.
Tang Min suggests that China and Germany can start by training more local professionals in preparation for these same people working in the area of cross-border e-commerce.