Habeck’s new trading strategy


Et’s Saturday evening shortly after eight when Robert Habeck has been looking really happy for a long time. The Federal Minister of Economics and Vice Chancellor is standing on the roof terrace of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, behind him the city-state’s skyline sparkles, next door a few tourists are still doing laps in the infinity pool, for which the hotel complex is known. The gas aid, the nuclear debate, the Cosco participation in the port of Hamburg: all the Berlin quarrels of the past few weeks are far away.

In the glaring spotlight of the television cameras, Habeck reports on the talks he had with economists, the trade minister and the deputy prime minister of Singapore, which he believes were a complete success. There was agreement “that one cannot afford to be unilaterally dependent on China in certain critical sectors,” he says. In some areas, however, these dependencies already exist, for example in digital technology, semiconductor production and everything that is needed to expand renewable energies.

SMEs are there

The Greens politician flew to Singapore with a good dozen managers, most of them medium-sized companies, where the 17th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business is taking place until Monday. Face-to-face for the first time since the beginning of the corona pandemic, the Raffles City conference center is buzzing with activity. Habeck wants to use the conference to promote more diversification among German managers. Less China, more business with other countries from the region, that’s the wish of the Economics Minister.

Ever since the Russian attack on Ukraine, it’s clear to everyone in Berlin that Germany could face an even bigger problem than high gas prices, namely if China decides to use force to assert its claim to Taiwan. Sanctions against China would hit Germany far harder than those against Russia. Then it would not only be about energy, but about everything. China is by far Germany’s most important trading partner.



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