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EU exports to China growing strongly

11
Jun '07
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson met Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai in Brussels on 12 June 2007 for the annual EU-China Joint Trade Ministerial Meeting.

• Trade flows: EU exports to China are growing strongly – 21% in 2006 but the EU still exports less to China than it does to Switzerland. The EU bilateral trade deficit with China follows the same trend as the US deficit: over the single day of the Joint Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting, the EU-China Trade deficit will widen by about €350 million.

A part of this is accounted for by a shift in production from other markets in Asia to China, but it nevertheless points to an increasingly unbalanced trading relationship in which the EU export potential to China is hampered by barriers to trade.

A study published by the Commission in 2006 (see below) reported that about €20billion in trade opportunities are lost every year to EU businesses because of market access barriers in China. The EU continues to pressure China to address these problems.

In January, talks started on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement framework. Part of this process, is an upgrade of the 1985 EU-China Trade and Economic Cooperation agreement which the European Commission hopes will set out wide new terms for facilitating trade and investment.

• Services: Services trade is an important economic export for the EU and an area of persistent problems in China. China has made several significant steps in opening its services markets but the barriers to EU exporters and investors remain formidable.


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