China's BRI creates opportunities for German companies: business association speaker
China's proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been creating opportunities for German enterprises, said Hans von Helldorff, speaker of the board of the Federal Association of German Silk Road Initiative (BVDSI), in an interview with Xinhua on Monday.
"The future markets and the new markets, for example, are in Asia, Africa as well as eastern and southern Europe. They are not so well-connected. China has been providing the connections, thus it will generate great opportunities," said von Helldorff, adding that new markets are needed by Germany.
Von Helldorff noted that thanks to the interconnectivity, businesses have already been on the rise in some German cities like Hamburg and Duisburg.
Lots of small and medium-sized companies in Germany got contracts with seaborne and logistics enterprises from China and other countries for local registration, legal, accounting and tax services, von Helldorff added.
"The infrastructure projects along the Belt and Road countries also need a lot of know-how. Harbor-related, road-related, train-related, etc. We have to open our eyes and participate in them," von Helldorff said, adding that the strengths of German businesses can contribute as an "innovation and investment engine."
Von Helldorff also noted that the BRI has been calling for partners to join efforts at environmental protection and green solutions, which are unique opportunities for German enterprises who specialize in the area.
Talking about prevailing doubts and worries about the BRI, e.g. claims that the initiative might be politically motivated and harm local industries, von Helldorff said some of them are simply cliches and some are unfounded.
"The BVDSI sees China as a fast-growing economy that follows a plan. We need to sit and make eye-to-eye contacts and negotiations. Only cooperation in the sense of fair competition is for the benefit of humanity," von Helldorff said.
The BVDSI, founded in March 2019, is a business association serving as a platform for the interests of small- and medium-sized German companies.
The BVDSI plans to organize a forum later this year in Germany on the BRI for partners to establish project-related contacts.