By Onome Amuge
China strengthened its trading relations with the European Union in 2020 to outstrip the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, Eurostat has disclosed.
According to the bloc’s statistics agency, the trade volume between the EU and the world’s most populated country reached 586 billion euros last year, compared to 555 billion euros for the US.
The agency further stated that despite the covid-19 pandemic, EU exports to China soared by 2.2 per cent to 202.5 billion euros while imports from its Asian leading trade partner increased by 5.6 per cent to 383.5 billion euros.
On the other hand, trade relations between the US and the EU recorded a plunge as exports fell by 13.2 per cent while imports also shed 8.2 per cent.
Eurostat also reported that Britain, which is no longer part of the EU, emerged its third-largest trading partner , behind China and the United States. However, EU exports to the UK declined by 13.2 per cent, while imports from across the channel slumped by 13.9 per cent.
According to Eurostat, China’s vigorous recovery from the covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 played a significant role in its economic build-up as the Asian giants rejigged its infrastructure and investment levels, exceeding that of 2019, while the rest of the world struggled to contain the pandemic.
This, Eurostat said,helped drive sales of European products, particularly in the automobile and luxury goods sectors to China, while China’s exports to Europe benefited from strong demand for medical equipment and electronics.
The US’ trade partnership demotion comes as the EU and China consider a move to ratify a long-negotiated investment deal which is likely to grant European companies better access to the Chinese market, furthering expanding their trade relations.