International trade partners of China – additional information
As of 2013, China was the world’s third largest importer of merchandise goods, representing 12.9 percent of worldwide imports. Over the last decade, the value of imports to China had increased significantly. As of 2014, goods worth nearly two trillion U.S. dollars had been imported into China. The import of goods had contributed approximately 19 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), indicating its close integration into the world economy.
In 2014, the European Union had been China’s most important import trade partner with an import value of about 1.5 trillion yuan, accounting for about 14 percent of total Chinese imports. Nearly 85 percent of China’s imports from the European Union were manufactured goods; main import goods to Chinawere machinery and transport equipment.
With a surplus of 383 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, China is still the nation with the highest trade surplus worldwide. Nevertheless, a rising number of economists have estimated a downturn in the economic development of China. Goods imports to China fell for the first time in 2014 since the global crisis of 2009. Monthly export values of China in 2015 have constantly remained below the average of 2014. More significantly, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for the industrial sector in China has shown a consecutive downfall since March 2012. With rising labor costs, China is gradually losing its comparative advantage in labor-intensive goods such as the textile manufacturing industry.