Asia-Europe Meeting

EU total deficit of €277 billion

In 2015, the 21 non-EFTA partner countries taking part in the Asia-Europe Meeting asem accounted together for 37% of the total international trade in goods of the European Union (EU), with the share of the ASEM partners standing at 29% for EU exports and at 46% for imports. Over the period 2005-2015, the EU registered a constant trade deficit with the ASEM partners, always well above €200 billion. In 2015, it stood at €277 bn, down from its peak of €320 bn recorded in 2008.

Les partenaires ASEM ont représenté en 2015 plus d’un tiers du commerce de biens de l’UE

Auf die ASEM-Partner entfiel über ein Drittel des EU-Warenverkehrs im Jahr 2015


ASEM partners accounted for more than a third of EU trade in goods in 2015



On the occasion of the 11th ASEM Summit, which will take place on 15 and 16 July in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues data on international trade in goods between the 28 Member States of the EU and the 21 non-EFTA partner countries taking part in this summit. This News Release is complemented with a Eurostat on-line publication providing a statistical portrait of the ASEM.

China, Russia and Japan: top 3 ASEM partners for EU trade in goods

Five ASEM partners feature among the top 10 trading partners of the EU in 2015: China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and India. Among the 21 ASEM partners, China (€170.4 bn euro) was the leading destination for EU exports in 2015, accounting for a third (33%) of EU exports to all ASEM partners. Russia (€73.9 bn, or 14%), Japan (€56.6 bn, or 11%), South Korea (€47.9 bn, or 9%) and India (€38.2 bn, or 7%) were some way behind. The leading source of EU imports from the ASEM partners was also, and by far, China (€350.4 bn), which represented 44% of EU imports from all ASEM partners, followed by Russia (€135.6 bn, or 17%).

Largest deficit with China, highest surplus with Australia

The highest EU deficits in trade with the ASEM partners in 2015 were recorded with China (-€180.1 bn), Russia (-€61.7 bn), Vietnam (-€21.5 bn), Bangladesh (-€12.7 bn), Kazakhstan (-€10.0 bn) and Malaysia (-€9.4 bn). In contrast, notable surpluses were registered only with Australia (+€22.0 bn), Singapore (+€10.7 bn) and South Korea (+€5.6 bn).

Between 2005 and 2015, the share in EU total trade with ASEM partners (exports + imports) notably increased for China (from 27.4% in 2005 to 39.6% in 2015) and Vietnam (from 1.0% in 2005 to 2.9% in 2015), while it fell particularly for Japan (from 15.2% in 2005 to 8.8% in 2015) and Russia (from 22.0% in 2005 to 15.9% in 2015) over this 10-year period.



Germany: more than one third of exports to ASEM partners and one fifth of imports

Among the EU Member States, Germany (€174.5 bn or 34% of EU exports of goods to ASEM partners) was by far the largest exporter to the ASEM partners in 2015, followed by the United Kingdom (€63.9 bn or 12%), France (€55.7 bn or 11%) and Italy (€43.7 bn or 8%).
Germany (€157.8 bn or 20%) was also the main importer from ASEM partners, followed by the Netherlands (€127.9 bn or 16% – see country note), the United Kingdom (€111.2 bn or 14%), Italy (€65.4 bn or 8%) and France (60.9 bn or 8%).
The largest deficits in 2015 were registered by the Netherlands (-€91.4 bn – see country note), the United Kingdom (-€47.3 bn), Poland (-€23.8 bn), Spain (-€23.7 bn), Italy (-€21.6 bn) and Belgium (-€21.5 bn – see country note). The only surpluses in trade with ASEM partners were recorded by Germany (+€16.8 bn), Ireland (+€2.9 bn) and Finland (+€0.5 bn).


Geographical information

The European Union (EU) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was created in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. It consists of the European Union and its 28 Member States, 2 members of EFTA (the European Free Trade Association): Norway and Switzerland, the 10 members of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia and South Korea.

Data for China presented in this news release exclude Hong Kong.

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