BERLIN (Sputnik) — In early June, Merkel said that Germany supported the early conclusion of an investment agreement between Europe and China.
"We intend to conclude an investment agreement soon, which could also lead to a free trade agreement with China," Merkel said at a press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on an official visit to Berlin.
Merkel also said Germany aspired to equal relations with China in trade and stood for the mutual opening of markets.
The European Union has been China's largest trade and economic partner for many years, and China is the bloc's second largest trading partner. In late May, China's Deputy Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang said the volume of EU-China trade amounted to $547 billion in 2016. In addition, the European Union is the main technology supplier for China, and the third largest source of foreign investment.
In February, Germany's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said China overtook the United States and France to become Germany's top trading partner in 2016 with 170 billion euros ($192.5 billion) of imports and exports. Germany mainly exports mechanical and electrical products, transportation vehicles and chemicals to China. As for the opposing direction, China sells machinery, textiles, furniture and toys.