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China, Europe predict new momentum in trade ties

By Chen Liubing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-14 14:27
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The China-Europe freight train connecting Wuhan and Belgrade pulls out from the Wujiashan station on May 9, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has become the largest trading partner of the European Union, with trade volume between the two sides increasing 5.3 percent to 4.5 trillion yuan ($695.50 billion) in 2020, according to the latest customs data released on Thursday.

The deepening economic and trade cooperation between China and the Europe has boosted economic ties, and will give a strong boost to world economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, a People's Daily report said.

Despite the huge impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the international air cargo market, European's largest aviation group - Air France-KLM- has explored more freight market, thanks to the steady increase and market demand between China and Europe.

"China is our most valued market with great potential for cooperation," said Toon Balm, general manager of Air France KLM Greater China, in an interview with People's Daily.

The Liege Airport, Belgium's largest airport in terms of cargo throughput, registered cargo volume of 1.12 million tons last year, up 24 percent on a year-on-year basis. This is largely due to the continued growth of trade between Europe and China, reported Belgian broadcaster RTBF. Protective materials and electronic components are shipped from China to Europe, helping Europe fight against the pandemic and boosting work and production resumption as well.

According to China State Railway Group, the China-Europe freight trains hit new record of 12,400 journeys in 2020, transporting 1.14 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers of goods, an increase of 50 and 56 percent on a yearly basis, respectively. 76,000 metric tons or 9.31 million pieces of anti-epidemic supplies were delivered via China-Europe freight trains last year, enhancing international medical cooperation to combat outbreak, and stabilizing global industrial chain.

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