FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s vice chancellor and economics minister, Robert Habeck, has reduced liability for investments by German companies in China by around five billion euros ($5.48 billion) since taking office, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Thursday.
Habeck’s officials have four times rejected new applications from German companies for their investments in China, totalling 101 million euros, the report said.
Four extension applications worth 554 million euros were not permitted and new applications amounting to four billion euros were not accepted for decision.
In addition, the ministry postponed applications for extensions worth 282 million euros because the companies had possible business relationships in the Uyghur province of Xinjiang.
As a result, the number of newly approved applications for state guarantees in China transactions fell to nine last year from 37 in 2013. According to the report, only five permits have been granted this year.
The total guarantees approved since Habeck took office amount to almost 780 million euros, plus extended approvals for investment guarantees with a volume of 1.1 billion euros.
Habeck is a member of the green party and took up his current positions in December 2021 under the then incoming chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Last November, Habeck changed course in regard to German-Chinese economic policy, pursuing a so-called “risk reduction approach.”
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(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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