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German exports to grow by up to 3 percent this year: BGA

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BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports will grow by up to 3 percent this year and hit a record high of nearly 1.4 trillion euros (£1.2 trillion), the BGA trade association said on Thursday, suggesting that companies are able to expand foreign business despite trade disputes and Brexit.

Imports are expected to increase by 5 percent to reach an all-time high of 1.14 trillion euros in 2019, BGA head Holger Bingmann told reporters in Berlin.

Bingmann criticised Economy Minister Peter Altmaier’s new industrial strategy, which envisages a shift towards a more interventionist policy to tackle an assertive China.

“A ‘China light’ policy is not an option for us. We must not turn Europe into a fortress,” Bingmann said, adding that the government should fight efforts in Europe to weaken competition and the free flow of market forces.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel)

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