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China overtakes US as Germany’s main trade partner

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China overtakes US as Germany’s main trade partner
Photo: DPA
11:38 CET+01:00
Last year China became Germany’s most important trading partner, knocking the US off the top spot.

Goods with a value of €170 billion were traded between Germany and China in 2016, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office (destatis) released on Friday.

France was the second most important trade partner. Total trade with the Gallic nation was valued at €167 billion, while the US was relegated to third place, with total transatlantic trade accounting for €165 billion.

Nevertheless, the US remained the most important export destination for German goods, with €107 billion “made in Germany” products making the journey.

The US only held the crown of Germany’s most lucrative trade relationship for one year - 2015. Before that France had been the most important partner for every year since 1975.

Trade with China has grown hugely in importance in recent years. In 2001 trade with the east Asian giant was valued at €32 billion, but has increased rapidly ever since. In that time German exports to China have increased more than eight fold, the Foreign Office states on its website.

Car sales to China are of particular importance to the German economy. In 2015 German carmakers had made up a fifth of the overall market in China, selling 4.4 million cars.

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