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It's usually not important.
Like if you said "That is Africa", do you mean something close to the listener, or something far away from both speaker and listener? Some languages make a strong distinction between those two concepts but English usually doesn't.
And German usually doesn't strongly distinguish between that meaning and "close to the speaker but not the listener".
If you do need to make the distinction, you can add an adverb, a bit like "that over there, that over here" (das da, da hier).