Economic cooperation between Germany and China is now growing more than ever before. Trade increased to an amount of 192.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, accounting for 30 percent of the total trade volume between the European Union and China.
China’s economy recorded a growth rate of 2.3 percent in 2020, down 4 percent from the previous year’s 6.1 percent. Nevertheless, in view of the negative economic developments worldwide, the importance of the Chinese market is increasing, as it represents an opportunity for many German companies to achieve better profit margins due to its high demand.
According to the latest 2020/2021 business climate survey conducted by the German Chamber of Foreign Trade in China, German companies are generally optimistic about their development on the Chinese market. 77 percent of the companies surveyed expect their industry to develop better in China than in other markets. In addition, 72 percent anticipate a further increase in their sales.
With the current positive trend in economic development in China, there is also an increase in demand for high-quality consumer products. Consumers are increasingly moving away from cheap functional goods and turning more and more to products “Made in Germany” and “Made in Japan”, which have a long tradition of high and consistent production quality. In this respect, companies such as Zwillinge, Miele, WMF, Herbacin, Doppelherz, Schaebens, Brita, etc., as well as many small rural breweries are making a name for themselves and are pleased with the constantly growing demand and increasing sales.
However, the Chinese market remains confusing for many SMEs. Against the backdrop of skepticism about market approval, many companies are backing away because they do not know how to find a trustworthy partner and what conditions are necessary for sales and market development. Last but not least, they are also hindered by the effects of the pandemic itself.
Currently, entry restrictions to China remain in place. Nevertheless, we expect a gradual relaxation for bilateral VISA releases as a result of the strong increase in vaccination rates in Germany and in China.