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China, Germany Pledge Closer Financial Cooperation

BEIJING – China and Germany pledged to open their markets more broadly to banks and insurers, giving Beijing a burst of good business news in the midst of clashes with Washington and Europe, ABC news reported Friday.
Both sides said their support for a global trading system that worries other governments is being threatened by President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. This followed an annual meeting between the German Finance Minister and the Tsar of the Chinese economy.
The initiatives reflect Beijing’s determination to pursue changes to make its state-dominated economy more productive and reduce its dependence on the US market by forging trade links with other countries.
China tried unsuccessfully to recruit Germany as an ally in its tariff war with Trump. Berlin expresses its support for free trade but Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that her government was not taking sides.
Delegations of German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and Chinese Economic Tsar Liu He, Vice Premier of China, have signed closer cooperation agreements on financial regulation.
They did not include any details or commercial commitments, but Liu said Beijing wants “more qualified German banks to participate in the opening and innovation of the Chinese financial market.”
Both governments support their institutions in their “cross-border activities in the fields of banking, securities, insurance and others”, said the Deputy Prime Minister.
Beijing has repeatedly pledged to honor its commitments since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 to open its banking, insurance and securities markets. The government promised in 2017 to allow banks and insurers full foreign ownership for the first time, but business groups said they needed to know the details of the regulations to see if these opportunities were worthwhile to be explored.
Chinese regulators suspended the licensing of US financial sector companies because of Trump’s price increases in the fight against Beijing’s technological ambitions.
Beijing is also facing the technological pressure of the European Union. In June, the 28-nation trade bloc challenged China’s rules against foreign companies protecting their own technologies and taking advantage of their technologies.
Friday’s talks also “focused on strengthening multilateral cooperation,” Scholz said before the event began. He cited German-Chinese cooperation in the group of 20 major economies and Africa, taxation and other issues.
“We want to make further progress,” he said.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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