Deutsche Bank, Merck and other CEOs of German companies are revealed to be visiting China with Scholz

[Text/Observer Network Liu Chenghui] Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter on October 28 that German Chancellor Scholz will lead a delegation of senior business leaders to visit China next week, including Adidas, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, BainTech ( CEO of German companies such as BioNTech) and Volkswagen. A person familiar with the matter said the delegation would only stay in Beijing for one day, not overnight.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on the 28th, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced that German Federal Chancellor Scholz will pay an official visit to China on November 4.

Bloomberg: German executives will visit China with Scholz

Bloomberg said that in addition to the companies mentioned above, the list of visiting China also includes CEOs of German companies such as BASF, Bayer, BMW, Merck and Wacker Chemicals.

Merck and Deutsche Bank both confirmed the news that their CEO will visit China with the delegation. BASF and Wacker did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representatives for BMW, BainTech, Siemens, Bayer and Adidas declined to comment.

Merck said the company is aware of current geopolitical challenges and the need to engage directly in constructive dialogue. Merck currently has more than 4,600 employees in China.

Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume pointed out in the earnings conference call on the 28th that “it is very important to communicate between (China and Germany) and listen to the ideas and opinions of both sides.”

Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, said he could not confirm anything related to the business delegation and declined to comment further.

Volkswagen CEO Bloom (pictured from German media)

People familiar with the matter also said that the delegation will only stay in Beijing for one day, not overnight. The members of the delegation will abide by China’s epidemic prevention regulations.

Bloomberg mentioned that this is Scholz’s first visit to China since he took office as German chancellor in December last year. In 2021, China is Germany’s largest trading partner, with merchandise trade between the two countries reaching 246 billion euros (about 1.78 trillion yuan). German companies have a huge presence in China, and most German automakers have established joint ventures with Chinese companies to supply the world’s largest auto market.

Data from China’s Ministry of Commerce shows that in the first eight months of this year, Germany’s investment in China increased by 30% year-on-year, ranking among the countries with the highest growth in investment in China during the same period. Among them, Volkswagen continues to make efforts in the deep cultivation and layout of the Chinese market. In September this year, Volkswagen also expressed its desire to continue operating the Volkswagen factory in Xinjiang.

It is worth mentioning that on the eve of Scholz’s visit to China, after many twists and turns, COSCO SHIPPING’s investment in the container terminal of Hamburg, the largest port in Germany, was finally “released” by the German government. On October 26, the German government approved the Chinese company COSCO to hold a 24.9% stake in the “Fudi” container terminal in the Port of Hamburg. Scholz responded on the 27th that the government’s decision was “correct.”

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