Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972, the relationship between our two states has been moving in a positive direction. In many areas, such as trade, transportation, science and technology, food, culture, climate, energy and the environment, our two states have pursued many joint projects that have led to increased cooperation at many different levels rooted in partnership. These achievements form a solid basis for the future cooperation between China and Germany.
Over the past years, China has become the most important economic partner of Germany, and will hold this position for the foreseeable future. Preliminary figures for 2018 show that German exports to China amounted to around 93.1 billion Euro. Between 2000 and 2018, German exports to China have thus increased tenfold. In 2018, China was the second largest export market outside Europe for German products, just behind the USA. In the same year, Germany imported goods to the tune of around 102 billion Euro from China and is now the number one trading partner of China in Europe.
When it comes to agricultural produce and food, China was the third largest market for German goods outside the European Union (1.5 billion Euro) in 2018. During the same period, China ranked third as a country of origin of imports into Germany (1.6 billion Euro).
For China's leaders, strengthening the country's innovative capability is a matter of priority. Among the key objectives for the future of China are the establishment of a green economy and the pursuit of a sustainable economic policy. The International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 in Beijing is a stepping stone in this direction, and Germany is honoured to participate in this important event. After all, when it comes to horticulture, Germany has for many decades been among the leading nations. That is why we want to showcase our capabilities and achievements at the EXPO 2019, promoting Germany as a competent and reliable partner on the international stage.
In addition to the ongoing and fruitful social and cultural exchanges between China and Germany, the EXPO 2019 in Beijing is a welcome event for the two countries to strengthen their cooperation in the area of sustainable technologies.