Strategic value and supply chains between Germany, Europe and China: development lines and future perspectives

The importance of China’s economy for the global supply and value chains has increased enormously in recent years. This has been impressively demonstrated by the economic and technological dispute with the USA, the important role played by Chinese suppliers in expanding Europe’s 5G networks and, most recently in the Covid-19 crisis, the global dependence on Chinese supplies of medical equipment. Numerous value chains have shifted from Europe to China, and future key industries are already using China as a springboard, or in some cases are almost entirely located there.

For companies in Germany and other European countries it is therefore more important than ever to understand China’s economic and industrial policy ambitions, plans and measures as well as their global external impact. It is important to identify the resulting risks and opportunities and to find conclusive strategic answers. This requires a detailed analysis of the extent and characteristics of China’s increasing dominance in global supply and value chains, and the potential impacts on European industries. China is no longer just an economic partner, but also a competitor and systemic rival – a challenge that Europe must meet in its entirety.

The IG BCE Foundation for Labour and the Environment is conducting a project on this topic together with the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).

The results are expected in autumn 2020.