China replaced the U.S. and became the largest trading partner of the EU in the first three quarters of the year amid COVID-19, demonstrating the resilience and potential of China-EU economic and trade relations, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Friday.
Bilateral trade volume between China and the EU reached 425.5 billion euros ($517.5 billion) between January and September, compared with 412.5 billion euros between the EU and the U.S. during the same period, according to Eurostat.
China and the EU have strong complementarities on the economic front, and there is huge potential for bilateral cooperation, MOFA said. The rapid development of China-EU trade has strongly promoted the economic and social development of both sides and improved the welfare of their people, it said.
The two sides signed the China-Europe Agreement on Geographical Indications in September that gives quality farm producers greater access to enter into each other's market. Currently, the two sides are negotiating an investment agreement that they hope to finish this year.
China is now building a new development pattern and will provide greater opportunities for all countries around the world, including the EU. MOFA said it is hoped that the EU will keep its investment market open and safeguard economic globalization, as well as free and open trade and investment.