© Reuters. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz speaks during the China-Germany High Level Financial Dialogue with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing

By Michael Nienaber

BEIJING (Reuters) – Germany welcomes progress in cooperation with China, especially in the financial sector, and aims to spur further development, its finance minister, Olaf Scholz, said in Beijing on Friday.

Trade between the two nations has softened amid uncertainty caused by the U.S. tariff dispute with China, but both have shown willingness to demonstrate that the world remains multilateral.

Germany is expected to sign pacts with Chinese financial regulators during Scholz’s visit, and its Bundesbank may also conclude an agreement with China on trading yuan-denominated financial products in Europe.

“It is important that, contrary to recent trends that we can observe elsewhere, we are seeing progress in our cooperation,” Scholz said.

Market access for banks and insurance companies on a level playing field and in the context of reciprocity is important, added Scholz, who is set to hold talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

“As the world economy slows, market volatility rises, creating greater risks,” Liu told reporters before the talks at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in the Chinese capital, welcoming the results of the two nations’ cooperation.

Berlin stresses its “close and advantageous” trade ties with China, whose rise has displaced Germany from its ranking as the world’s third-biggest economy to the fourth.

At the same time, it increasingly seeks to better protect and strengthen sensitive German and European business sectors from China’s state-backed acquisitions overseas in strategic industries.

“If you work closely together, you learn to appreciate similarities, but also to know differences,” Scholz said.

“And we have a lot of common interests in financial matters, and then we need to bring different perspectives together. I believe that is the very important task of this financial dialogue.”

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2019-01-17