How much is our economy dependent on China?

In Saxony, on the other hand, new settlements from China are “rather rare,” according to the Saxon Ministry of the Economy. This is also evidenced by the investment amounts from China, which were supported by state subsidies from the GRW (“Community task: improvement of the regional economic structure”). While Saxony has subsidized investments from China only € 5.2 million in the last 20 years, it was € 119.3 million in Saxony-Anhalt over the same period. In Thuringia, since 1990 Chinese investments have been financed with a total value of EUR 335 million. Financing is only available when, for example, new machinery and systems are purchased and new jobs are created as a result.

According to Rusche, the new estates are positive in many ways, mainly because they bring know-how to Germany. On the other hand, the Federal Republic wants to protect itself from acquisitions and, in some cases, majority stakes by Chinese investors. “One concern is that China’s economic growth will be unfairly promoted through state-controlled investment programs such as Made in China 2025. China, ”explains Rusche. For example, purchases and acquisitions of companies in security-related areas above a certain size must first be approved by the Ministry of Economy. Investments in “critical infrastructure” firms – including some defense firms – are already under investigation with a target purchasing share of 10 percent. Healthcare companies as well as emerging technologies such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and quantum technology are being studied with a possible 20% or more share. For all other acquisitions, the 25 percent threshold applies.

China on the way to becoming an “industrial superpower”?
By its 100th birthday in 2049, the People’s Republic of China aims to become the world’s leading industrial superpower. By 2025, China is committed to achieving a number of milestones. Over the next eight years, the country’s leaders plan to become world leaders in ten sectors, including energy transport, aviation, rail, and electric mobility. Other key sectors where the country wants to thrive are mechanical and plant engineering, as well as robotics, medical technology and chemistry. These are all sectors in which the Federal Republic is also well positioned.

From December 2017, the Ministry of Economy took over most of the Saxon company Cotesa critically examined. The medium-sized company from Mittweida near Chemnitz specializes in lightweight components, high-strength fiber composites for the aerospace and automotive industries, but also for the military. At the end of the review in April 2018, AT&M (Advanced Technology & Materials), a subsidiary of the state-owned China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group, approved the acquisition. Estimated transaction price: from 100 to 200 million euros. The goal of the German management of Cotesa was to gain access to the Chinese market and to supply the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac in the future in addition to Airbus and Boeing.

China is not in the forefront of foreign investors in central Germany

In 2016-2018, companies from the Middle Kingdom invested more in Germany than ever before. According to the Institute of Economic Research in Cologne, the highest investment so far was recorded in 2017 and amounted to EUR 12.1 billion. The same does not apply, however, to the central German states, because, according to Rusche’s economics expert, the sum was raised mainly by individual acquisitions. And these big companies are usually not located in central Germany.

According to the Saxon Ministry of Economy, Chinese acquisitions and majority stakes in 2019 – despite dynamic growth only in 2018-2019 – accounted for only about 6 percent. compared to other foreign investments. Thus, in terms of the number of investment projects, China is not among the strict group of foreign investors, concludes the Saxon Economic Development Corporation.

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