Greater engagement in Asia

Business Greater engagement in Asia

Chancellor Angela Merkel sees significant potential for closer cooperation between Germany and the Asian and Pacific region, she said in an address to the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business. APA’s new chairman Hubert Lienhard took up his new position at the event.

Chncellor Angela Merkel gives a speech.

Germany can and must face up better to international competitors

Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

The Chancellor underlined the importance of markets in the Far East, because the countries of the region are currently modernising their industries and infrastructure. "There is a huge need for investment, obviously coupled with improvements in the situation of the people in these countries."

Leading industrial nation

German businesses export goods worth about 150 billion euros to the countries served by the Asia-Pacific Committee (APA). This is equivalent to 14 per cent of all German exports. Direct investment by German businesses in the region rose by around 50 per cent between 2008 and 2011 alone. Germany will only be able to retain its position as a leading industrial nation if it continues to invest strongly in innovation and research.

The Chancellor pointed to what will be the most urgent problem of the years to come: the need to put energy supplies on a sustainable footing. If Germany manages to do this at home, the expertise it acquires could become a top export. This is why it is one of the main tasks ahead for the grand coalition government in Germany.

Taking Singapore as an example

Angela Merkel also touched on the planned free trade agreements between the European Union and other countries of the world. An agreement with Singapore could generate impetus for agreements with other countries, such as India and Japan. Personally, said the Chancellor, she favours multilateral agreements, but if the entire world is increasingly entering into bilateral trade agreements, then the EU will have to do likewise.

The Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business voices the concerns of German businesses involved in this region to policy-makers in Germany and in Asian partner countries. It aims to step up and shape cooperation with the countries of the region, and to foster mutual trade and investment. The outgoing chairman, Peter Löscher, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG, has now handed over the reins to Hubert Lienhard, Chief Executive Officer of Voith GmbH.