Germany welcomes foreign takeovers, but wants fair conditions: Merkel spokesman

October 31, 2016 7:18 AM EDT

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert addresses a news conference in Berlin, Germany, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany welcomes foreign takeovers of its companies, including from China, but needs to ensure that its firms are protected from unfair competition, a government spokesman said on Monday.

"The whole government is convinced that it is right that the market is open to investments from abroad, including from China," Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference in Berlin.

"Germany as an industrial center must, however, be effectively protected from unfair competitive situations," he added.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel travels to China this week having openly complained that China is strategically buying up key technologies in Germany while protecting its own companies against foreign takeovers with "discriminatory requirements".

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said she couldn't confirm or deny a report that China has summoned the German ambassador ahead of Gabriel's visit.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Caroline Copley)

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