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UPDATED: February 26, 2009
China, Germany Sign Procurement Deals Worth around 11 Billion Euros
The deals focus on engineering equipment, electronics and auto vehicles

A Chinese business delegation, led by Commerce Minister Chen Deming, signed a total of 37 procurement deals worth around 11 billion euros ($14 billion) with German companies on Wednesday.

According to Chen, the 37 deals are composed of two parts--purchasing contracts, and cooperation agreements which need further negotiations.

The deals focus on engineering equipment, electronics and auto vehicles like Mercedes and BMW, Chen told a press conference.

A draft deal obtained by Xinhua showed that the Chinese side agreed to buy around 37,000 BMW cars and Mini worth $2.2 billion, as well as 27,000 units of Mercedes cars.

Chen revealed that apart from the current 200-member delegation, China would send more entrepreneurs to Germany to discuss further investment in both countries.

Germany is one of China's important trading partners within the European Union (EU). In 2008, the Sino-German trade hit $115 billion. Despite the world economic crisis, China and Germany have vowed to maintain the trade volume unchanged this year.

Prior to the deal-signing ceremony, more than 450 Chinese and German business representatives attended a forum on exploring cooperation opportunities.

Chen and German Economic Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg condemned trade protectionism that has cropped out amid the global economic crisis.

Chen said the procurement deals reflect China's sincere objection to trade protectionism, adding that opening the market is the proper approach to address the global economic recession.

Guttenberg lauded China's procurement, and joined Chen to slap trade protectionism.

The 37-year-old minister said Germany and China are top two exporters in the world, noting that trade protectionism is a " wrong answer" to the current global financial crisis.

Germany and China should join hands to facilitate the Doha round talks, he added.

Later on Wednesday, the Chinese delegation, composed of over 200 business representatives, flew to Zurich of Switzerland to continue their procurement tour.

(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2009)

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