China is ready to open up new sectors of its economy to German investors, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday, in comments that highlight Beijing's drive for a special bilateral partnership with Berlin bypassing the EU.
"If we both come together in an ideal and optimal way, a dream team will emerge," Li told representatives of German business during a visit to Berlin, his first to a European Union capital since becoming premier in March.
Li urged closer cooperation in manufacturing — an area where German firms increasingly see China as a competitor as it moves up the value chain — and he singled out logistics, education and healthcare as sectors for German investment.
"China is willing to open up this space preferentially to Germany," said Li, an economist, without elaborating.
The European Commission in Brussels oversees EU trade ties with third countries and it was unclear how far Beijing could offer Berlin special access to markets denied to other member states, but Li's comments underscored the importance of China and Germany, the world's top two exporters, to each other.
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