China became the EU’s largest trading partner in 2020, with growth in both exports and imports despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurostat announced Monday.
China has become the European Union (EU) ‘s largest trading partner in 2020, with both exports and imports growing despite the COVID-19 pandemic, announced on Monday Eurostat, the official statistical institute of the EU.
EU imports from China during the year 2020 grew 5.6% year-on-year to reach 383.5 billion euros ($ 465 billion), while exports, with an increase of 2.2%, reported 202.5 billion euros, according to the same source.
At the same time, trade in goods with the United States, which topped the EU’s list of trading partners until early 2020, experienced a substantial decline in both imports and exports.
The EU also witnessed greater trade volume with the rest of the world in December 2020, growing by 6.6 billion euros compared to the same period of 2019. This is the first time that the EU has experienced year-over-year growth in this area since it was hit by the pandemic.
Exports and imports of single market goods suffered declines of 9.4% and 11.6% respectively in 2020. Industries were significantly affected by the restrictive measures last year, whose energy registered far the largest decline, followed by food and drink, as well as raw materials and chemicals.
Statistics released by Eurostat were consistent with official information released by China in mid-January, which revealed that trade with the EU reached 4.495.77 billion yuan, or around 600 billion euros in 2020, an increase of 5.3%.
While China’s total goods imports and exports grew 1.9% year-over-year, reaching a record 32.160 billion yuan (about $ 5,000 billion) in 2020, trade with the EU grew twice as much as the average.
This perfectly illustrates “the strong resilience and importance of China-EU economic and trade cooperation,” Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese mission to the EU, commented last month at an online conference with the Friends of Europe, a European think tank.