BRUSSELS -- China was the leading destination for European Union (EU) exports and leading source of EU imports in 2015 among the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partners, accounting for a third of EU exports to ASEM partners, according to data issued on July 14 by Eurostat.
The statistics agency said the figure of EU exports to China stood at 170.4 billion euros ($189.3 billion), accounting for 33 percent of EU exports to all ASEM partners.
China was also the leading source of EU imports from the ASEM partners which stood at 350.4 billion euros and represented 44 percent of EU imports from all ASEM partners, followed by Russia.
Figures showed the highest EU deficits in trade with the ASEM partners in 2015 were also recorded with China at minus 180.1 billion euros, followed by Russia at 61.7 billion euros.
Between 2005 and 2015, the share in EU total trade with ASEM partners notably increased for China (from 27.4 percent in 2005 to 39.6 percent in 2015) and Vietnam, while it fell particularly for Japan and Russia over this 10-year period.
Among the EU member states, Germany was by far the largest exporter to ASEM partners and was also the main importer.
The 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, Norway and Switzerland, and 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Russia, Japan, Australia, etc.