China Trade

The Sino-German relationships – Part 2: Partner provinces

There’s a multitude of partnerships between the so called “Bundesländer” in Germany and Chinese provinces. In the following section, some of these partnerships are breifly introduced.

  • Bavaria and Shandong: Bavaria is the most important German trading partner for China with about 19% of the German-Chinese trading volume. An internet forum has been set up to support exchange and international trade between Bavaria and Shangdong:
  • Baden-Wuertemberg and Jiangsu: The most important trading goods between the two provinces are machinery and vehicle components. But also electro mobility plays an important role in this relationship.
  • Sachsen and Hubei: Their cooperation is especially strong in the field of environmental protection and water management.
  • Thüringen and Shaanxi: They have a special cooperation: Environement sensor technology (air quality sensors). The trading volume increased in recent years.
  • Hessen (Frankfurt) and Shanghai: They have a special relationship in the financial sector. Beyond this the relationship is more on the cultural and social level.
  • Brandenburg and Hebei: The economic cooperation is focused on new energies (including construction of a hybrid power plant in Hebei) as well as on systems engineering, energy efficiency, environmental protection, information and communication engineering, media, agricultural engineering and bio technology.

Sources and the full report is available on demand (mail to:

The Sino-German relationships – Part 1: Trade relationship

The trade volume between Germany and China has sharply risen since the beginning of the millenium and reached about 140 billion Euro in 2013 (2003: 44 billion Euro). After the economic and financial crisis arround 2007 to 2009, the trade relationship has become relatively balanced again, with a remaining, “small” trade surplus for China (+7.6 billion Euro in 2013 to +26.5 in 2007). The relationship between the two countries has also become equal important for one another: China has become one of the top 5 export countries for Germany and vice versa.

The most important trading goods between Germany and China are machines, mechanical devices, electronical devices, automobiles and photographical products, providing about 60% of the total trade volume between China and Germany. Other important trading goods for the two countries are chemical products, especially pharmaceutical products for Germany and organical chemicals for China, composing about 5% of the total trade volume. The same applies to steel, iron and other metals and their related products. One of the fastest growing, important product categories for both countries is plastic and related products. Other industries have minor importance for both countries or are only relevant for one country, like e.g. the textile export for China as well as the milk import for Germany.

With regard to the Chinese government’s 5 year plan and national trends, there are industries with high potential for trading relations between China and Germany:

  • New energy and sustainability sector,
  • Food and beverages sector (Germany has a good reputation for its high food safety standards)
  • Luxury products (upcoming middle class).
  • Medical industry (German SME are leading in this field).


Sources and the full report is available on request (mail to: