Trade between the European Union and China

More than $588.6 billion worth of goods are traded between the European Union and China every year, according to the latest data from the European Commission  That is equivalent to $1.6 billion every day. 

China is the EU's 2nd biggest trading partner, trailing only behind the U.S.  

Trade of goods between the two has quadrupled since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, reaching nearly $590 billion in 2013.

However, Europe sells a lot less to the Chinese than it buys from them -- last year, its trade deficit with China was $180 billion.

Nevertheless, the EU is China's biggest source of imports and its biggest export destination. European companies are fulfilling Chinese hunger for cars, planes, chemicals and luxury goods, while Europe imports $385 billion worth of textiles, electronics and other goods from China.

With some expecting China to become the world's biggest economy by 2030, there will be a lot more developments in trade between the European Union and the People's Republic of China.