Chinese and German companies signed deals worth billions of dollars to make trucks and power equipment Friday as the prime ministers declared their countries' economies had recovered from last year's global recession.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought the heads of major German corporations with her on a four-day visit to China, underscoring the robust business ties between the two export powerhouses.
Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao have met frequently in recent years and agreed to work together to guide a recovery from the global economic crisis.
"China and Germany have passed a testing period of crisis and turbulence," Wen announced after he and Merkel reviewed an honor guard at a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.
Among the contracts signed after their talks was a $3.5 billion deal between Siemens AG and the Shanghai Electric Power Generation Equipment Co. to develop steam and gas turbines, and a new 6.35 billion yuan ($936 million) venture between Daimler AG and Beiqi Foton Motor Co. to make heavy and light trucks, reported state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The good business news continues a turnaround for Merkel, who three years ago angered China's authoritarian leadership when she welcomed a nemesis, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. German business leaders complained for months afterward that they were meeting with obstacles in completing deals with Chinese companies.
Despite that, the two countries' trade runs more than $100 billion a year. German companies have invested billions more in China, making multinationals like Siemens and BMW AG prominent brand names.
Wen expressed optimism Friday that the European Union, China's largest trade partner, will overcome its current difficulties.
"We will continue to watch Europe's economic development," Wen said at a brief news conference.
One new opportunity the two countries are exploring is clean-energy technologies, where Germany is a leader. Xinhua reported the two countries agreed to set up a 124 million euro ($159 million) fund to encourage companies to save energy and cut emissions that harm the environment.