by Xinhua writer Guo Xiaoyu
BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) maintain steady development of bilateral economic relations, adding stability to the global economy shadowed by mounting uncertainties.
In the first five months this year, the EU remained China's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volume up 11.7 percent from one year earlier to 1.9 trillion yuan (about 276 billion U.S. dollars), official data showed. Such an amount accounted for 15.7 percent of China's total trade volume in the period.
The steady trade growth is based on the interdependence of the bilateral economic and trade relations and the two sides' consensus on striving for mutual benefit and development.
Trade between China and the EU demonstrates high complementarity, said Liang Ming, a researcher with a research institute of the Ministry of Commerce, adding that market demands from each side keep boosting the bilateral trade growth.
More importantly, the two sides, with enhanced economic ties, set a role model of facilitating multilateralism and free trade against stronger headwinds.
"Against the backdrop of rising trade protectionism, the stable development of the China-EU economic cooperation plays a pivotal role in stabilizing the global economy," Liang said.
Presenting similar insights, Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the two economies boast a solid foundation for economic and trade cooperation.
Apart from offering various opportunities to both sides, cooperation between the two economies is of particular significance amid growing trade tensions in the global economy, Bai added.
With a growing emphasis on their economic and trade relationship, China and the EU are making joint efforts to promote bilateral cooperation, especially under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The China-Europe rail service, a significant part of the BRI expected to boost trade between China and Europe, has developed rapidly since it started operations, with the total cargo value rising 106 percent year on year to hit 33 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
To date, the cross-border rail network has connected 62 Chinese cities with 51 European cities in 15 countries.
While Italy became the first Group of Seven member to join the BRI in March this year, other major European powers have also expressed their willingness to step up cooperation with China under the BRI.
Meanwhile, investment between the two economies is also prospering with China's non-stop expansion of opening-up and moves to accommodate foreign investors.
After approving the landmark foreign investment law aimed to provide stronger protection and a better business environment for overseas investors, the country vowed to encourage foreign investment in the advanced manufacturing and modern service industries and multinationals to establish headquarters or R&D centers in state-level economic and technological development zones.
Deeming the opening-up measures as attractions to the EU companies, Liang said that as China opens up wider its manufacturing, financial and services industries, huge potential for further cooperation will be unleashed in the future.
"Although the external uncertainties are accumulating, the China-EU economic and trade relations remain an absolute certainty," Liang said, adding that the bilateral cooperation will surely maintain stable development this year and continue to act as a major stabilizer of the world economy.