Asia and Europe are now each other’s leading trade partners, with $1.5 trillion in merchandise trade , overtaking their respective trade relationships with the United States, according to a study produced at the initiative of the European Union, as the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported. As the WEF explains, mutual cross-regional connectivity between institutions and people have been made a priority, leading to the growth of the trade relationship.
The bilateral economic relationship between China and Germany represents 25% of overall Asia-Europe trade. Almost one third of European goods shipped to Asia come from Germany ($202 billion), with China the leading purchaser. And Chinese exports to Europe go primarily to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK ($178 billion).
Institutionally, relationships are deepening as 2019 has seen a new EU-Japan free trade agreement and the London Stock Exchange was host to a recent bond issue by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Between 2015-2017, foreign direct investment between Europe and Asia was nearly $90 billion annually. With half of European investment in Asia coming from Germany and the UK (over $32 billion). Notably, the UK invests twice as much in Asia than Europe, with India its’ largest recipient. While China and Japan are the main Asian investors in Europe ($12 billion)
China is the world’s fastest growing professional services market
Of particular importance to law firm’s operating in Asia and Europe is a new report by Research and Markets which reflects an acceleration of global professional services growth attendant to factors including economic growth between regions. The world’s professional services market reached a value of nearly $5,700.2 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% since 2014. These markets are expected to grow 9.1% to nearly $8,082.4 billion by 2022.
Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region follow the United States are the largest professional services markets in the world, with South America and Asia-Pacific being the fastest growing regions, accounting for 16.4% and 12.4% of that growth, respectively. China’s professional services market is projected to gain the most of any nation — at $423.6 billion by 2022. Notably too, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond recently outlined the importance of UK legal services to the growth and development of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.