China now European Union’s biggest trading partner
China is now the biggest European Union (EU)’s trading partner, having overtaken United States (US) last year.
EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The report released last year by the EU statistics agency, Eurostat, according to Business Standard, shows that:
- China overtook the U.S. as the EU’s biggest trading partner, with China-EU trade volume reaching 586 billion euros ($711 billion), compared to 555 billion euros between the U.S. and the EU.
- European Union exports to China rose by 2.2 percent to 202.5 billion euros, while imports from China increased by 5.6 percent to 383.5 billion euros.
- European Union’s trade with the U.S. dropped significantly in 2020, with a 13.2 percent dip in imports and 8.2 percent in exports.”
This development has been attributed to China’s quick recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic during the first quarter, with consumption even exceeding its level in 2019 at the end of 2020.
The United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the European Union, became the third-largest trading partner of the European Union, behind China and the United States.
According to Eurostat, “trade with the UK plummeted in 2020, the year Britain officially left the bloc, though it was in a transition period to blunt the effects of Brexit until December 31. EU exports to the UK fell by 13.2 percent, while imports from across the channel dropped by 13.9 per cent.”
It is important to note that the dethroning of the US was made possible as the EU and China were seeking to ratify a long-negotiated investment deal that would give European companies better access to the Chinese market