APA Calls for Stronger EU Commitment in Asia

BERLIN  – “If we want to maintain the current level of prosperity in Germany and the EU, we must participate more actively in the dynamic developments in Asia-Pacific. The EU and its member states urgently need a common foreign economic policy towards this currently most important growth region”, APA Chairman Joe Kaeser said on the occasion of the publication of an APA position paper on Wednesday. “This applies in particular to the preservation of European interests in the competition between the two economic systems of China and the U.S.”,  Kaeser continued.

In the paper, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) calls for more effective representation of EU interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The paper provides ideas for the implementation of the Indo-Pacific guidelines presented by the German government last year and for the EU’s ongoing deliberations on a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy.

It highlights that German industry views the entire Asia-Pacific region, and not just China, as the growth market of the future. However, a diversification strategy should not be aimed at relocating production from China. Rather, the EU should position itself strategically and resolutely to successfully tap into other growth markets in the region. The APA calls for an active, flexible and confident trade and foreign trade policy of the EU.

In addition to the EU’s foreign economic policy, the APA paper also places a strong focus on strengthening Europe as a business location. Investments in innovation and Page 2 of 2 sustainability are imperative for the EU to position itself successfully as an attractive partner in the Asia-Pacific region.

In its position paper, the APA also calls for clearly addressing relations with China by way of a comprehensive EU Asia-Pacific strategy. Currently, mutual sanctions and a fully negotiated but dormant investment agreement highlight the complexity of the relationship between the EU and China.

The APA-Chairman stressed the importance of a strong EU for a successful multilateral China policy: “The EU must significantly increase its geo-economic position to be able to interact on an equal footing with China and the U.S.”,  Kaeser said. “Economic policy foresight and coherence are particularly important. As an innovative and global player, the EU can confidently advocate for a balanced approach that does not rely on bilateral decoupling.”

About APA

The Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business is building bridges between German companies doing business in Asia and politics in Germany as well as in our Asian partner countries. The APA pools the economic concerns of German businesses active in the Asia-Pacific region and strives for more intense cooperation with AsiaPacific and helps promoting trade and investment in both directions.

The APA is an initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV), the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) and the Association of German Banks (Bankenverband). Since February 2019 it is chaired by Joe Kaeser, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens Energy AG.