Germany may lose its title as the world's export champion to China as early as this year, an expert with the German Chamber of Industry and commerce said Wednesday.
"It is questionable whether we will be able to keep this title this year," economist Volker Treier told the German news agency DAPD. In 2008, Germany made barely 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) more than China with its exports.
Treier said that Germany was set to lose the "world export championship" because of China's bigger size and higher population.
"By 2010, this title will be history, because the Chinese will simply outdo us due to their bigness," Treier said, adding that it may not be a bad thing, either, "because if China grows, this pushes the world's economy — and that's good for export-oriented Germany as well."
From January-August, German exports were down 22.3 percent to 522.1 billion euros compared with 672.1 billion euros in the same period a year earlier.
For 2009, the national foreign trade organization BGA estimates an 18 percent decrease in exports to 816 billion euros. Import-related profits will go down by 15 percent in 2009 to 696 billion euros, it added.
Actual figures are not expected from the German government until early February.
For 2010, the BGA estimates that the export industry will recover and go up by 10 percent to 898 billion euros.
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