China fuelling surge in German economy

The German economy is enjoying an economic surge because
of its successful efforts to sell products in China, a German executive says.

Gunter Scheipermeier said his German company, Nobilia,
sells more high-tech modular kitchens in China than all but two Chinese
manufacturers, The Washington Post reported.

“China is vital to Germany’s future,”
Scheipermeier said. “Chinese duck will be cooked in kitchens more like
those designed for German chickens than American turkeys.”

Nobilia manufactures kitchen appliances that conform to
European standards, Scheipermeier said. For example, ovens in China are just 24
inches wide, a niche Nobilia fills.

Ovens aren’t the only German product selling well in
China. Volkswagen sold 1.3 million cars in China so far this year, five times
the number sold in the United States. China also passed the U.S. last year as
the No. 1 overseas market for big-ticket German machinery, the newspaper said.

U.S. exports to China – the world’s second-largest
economy – rose 25 percent in the second quarter of 2010, but Germany’s sales to
China climbed 50 percent, the newspaper said.

The U.S. exports more to China in total dollar terms, but
adjusted for the size of their economies, German exports to China top the U.S.
by a factor of three to one.

“There are critics who say our manufacturing in the
United States can never be competitive with China because of their wages,”
said Scott Paul, executive director for the D.C.-based Alliance for American
Manufacturing. “But in Germany, you see a country that has wages and
benefits at least as high as the United States, and yet they have managed a
manufacturing base and trading relationship with China that we in the U.S.
would love to have.”

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