China-EU partnership on trade is rooted in stability2021-02-19 | CGTN
Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
Last year, China overtook the U.S. as the EU's largest trade partner, with trade reaching 586 billion euros ($711 billion), compared to 555 billion euros ($671 billion) between the U.S. and EU, according to statistics published by Eurostat. The data, which comes before the implementation of the new EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), shows that China and the EU will be indispensable partners in leading the global economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
China's importance to the world economic recovery cannot be understated. As the only major economy in the world that saw positive GDP growth in 2020, China is forging ahead into the future and becoming an even more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). China's successful management of its coronavirus outbreak and how this translates to overall market stability is reflected in the fact that it was the largest recipient of FDI in 2020.
But an interconnected global economy requires partnership to prevail. Between the EU and China, not only was the trade volume likely increased by medical supplies going from China to the EU, but also an uptick in consumer spending on European goods in China. This is a give and take that everyone would like to see continue and the new CAI will ensure that this trajectory continues.
Not only is China poised to become the world's largest economy by the end of this decade, but, just a few weeks ago, analysts from Morgan Stanley predicted that China's consumer spending would double by 2030 to approximately $12.7 trillion, which is about what American consumers spend right now.
On this front, China is already leading the way in innovation. For example, China's e-commerce sector, which has boomed all over the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, is already larger than America and Europe's combined. Major Western companies including Facebook and Walmart have already begun to lift some features from Chinese e-commerce since the pandemic began to boost their businesses.
Along with this, the Chinese e-commerce industry faces some of the most pristine pro-competition regulations on the books. Products from all over the world can easily find a home in the Chinese consumer ecosystem as monopolies are kept in check.