ASEM partners account for a third of EU27 imports and 18% of exports

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EurostatBetween 2000 and 2007, EU27 exports and imports of goods to the 16 Asian countries taking part in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) grew by around 60%: exports rose from 146 billion euro to 228 bn, while imports increased from 285 bn to 459 bn. The EU27 deficit in trade with the ASEM partners grew from 139 bn in 2000 to 231 bn in 2007. The ASEM partners accounted for more than a quarter of the EU27’s total external trade in goods in 2007: 18% of exports and 32% of imports.

EU27 trade with the ASEM partners showed very different patterns between 2000 and 2007. Trade with China trebled in value over this period, while trade with Japan actually fell in value. Significant increases were also recorded in EU27 trade with India and Vietnam, which both more than doubled in value.

On the occasion of the seventh ASEM Summit, which will take place on 24 and 25 October 2008 in Beijing, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, issues data on trade in goods between the 27 Member States of the EU and the 16 Asian countries taking part in ASEM.

Machinery and vehicles account for more than half of EU27 trade with ASEM partners

Half of EU27 exports to the ASEM partners in 2007 were machinery and vehicles, and a further quarter were other manufactured articles. These same two groups of products accounted for a half and more than a third respectively of imports. As a result, the deficit registered for these groups made up all of the deficit with the ASEM partners. At the detailed level, the main EU27 exports to the ASEM partners were aircraft, unworked diamonds, electronic circuits, motor cars and medicine, while the main imports were computers and parts (including monitors and printers), mobile phones, motor cars and digital cameras.

Germany: one third of EU27 exports to ASEM partners, and one fifth of imports

Among the EU27 Member States, Germany (75 bn euro, or 33% of the total) was by far the largest exporter to the ASEM partners in 2007, followed by France (29 bn or 13%), the United Kingdom (27 bn or 12%) and Italy (21 bn or 9%). Germany (93 bn or 20%) was the largest importer from the ASEM partners, followed by the Netherlands3 (71 bn or 15%), the United Kingdom (70 bn or 15%), Italy (39 bn or 9%) and France (37 bn or 8%).

Only Ireland and Malta recorded small surpluses in trade with the ASEM partners in 2007, while the largest deficits were registered by the Netherlands3 (-55 bn), the United Kingdom (-43 bn), Spain (-25 bn), Germany and Italy (both -18 bn).

China: nearly half of EU27 imports from ASEM partners, and one third of exports

Among the ASEM partners, China (72 bn euro, or 31% of the total) was the leading destination for EU27 exports in 2007, followed by Japan (44 bn or 19%), India (29 bn or 13%), South Korea (25 bn or 11%) and Singapore (21 bn or 9%). The leading source of EU27 imports from the ASEM partners was also China (232 bn or 50%), followed by Japan (78 bn or 17%) and South Korea (40 bn or 9%). The largest EU27 surpluses in trade with the ASEM partners were recorded with India (+3 bn) and Singapore (+2 bn), and the highest deficits with China (-160 bn), Japan (-34 bn), South Korea (-15 bn) and Thailand (-9 bn).

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