German companies in China severely affected by Corona

The spread of the corona virus has an impact on most German companies on site, according to a recent survey by the Chambers of Commerce Abroad.

The Chambers of Commerce Abroad have conducted a survey in an attempt to get an idea of the economic impact of the epidemic in the People’s Republic of China. Jens Hildebrandt, Delegate of the German Economy in Beijing, presented the most important results of a quick poll from the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad Greater China, among its member companies on February 27th: “In China there is no German company that is not affected by the corona virus, 60 percent of them severely, according to their own statements. The results are also available here. Download

“The numerous trade conflicts and fewer investments worldwide are in any case, bad omens for the export year 2020,” Volker Treier, head of foreign trade at the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK.) “Now, the spread of the novel coronavirus will place a considerable economic burden on export-oriented German companies.

China is Germany’s most important trading partner, and there are more than 5,000 German companies located there, “the production lines have been virtually idle for weeks”, Treier reported. Production is only slowly being ramped up again.

The rapid spread of the virus, especially in northern Italy, is affecting the economic centre of Italy and is currently causing additional uncertainty in the German export industry, he observed. After all, the volume of German trade with the Italian province of Lombardy, is almost as large as that with Japan.

So far, the effects have been limited to the protective measures that companies are taking for their local employees. “But if supply chains were to be interrupted, production downtimes would be the result,” warns Treier. The previously unhindered trade in goods and services between Italy and Germany would then come to a standstill.

The effects on the German economy should not be underestimated”, the DIHK foreign trade chief clarifies. “After all, Italy is Germany’s fifth most important trading partner with a trade volume of over 125 billion euros and every day in particular, indispensable industrial intermediate products cross the Alps in both directions”. This alone shows “that the coronavirus is beginning to have a considerable impact on world trade.

On its website, the DIHK provides information about current developments in the affected markets and compiles links and recommendations for companies.

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Hans Gäng
27.02.2020
von Hans Gäng