The FINANCIAL — The international trade in services of the European Union (EU) has increased significantly over the last five years. EU exports of services to the rest of the world rose by 29%, from €568.7 billion in 2010 to €734.8 bn in 2014, while imports grew only slightly more slowly (+27%) from €458.0 bn to €583.4 bn.
As a consequence, the EU trade surplus in services has steadily increased between 2010 and 2013, from €110.7 bn to €178.1 bn, before decreasing to €151.4 bn in 2014, according to EU.
Financial and communication services boost EU surplus in trade in services
Transport and travel were in 2014 the two main categories of services traded by the EU, accounting for a third (33%) of total extra-EU exports and 37% of imports.
The EU surplus in 2014 was mainly due to surpluses in financial services (+€41.7 bn) as well as in telecommunications, computer and information services (+€41.0 bn), while a significant deficit was recorded for charges for the use of intellectual property (-€31.8 bn).
Highest EU surplus in trade in services with Switzerland
In 2014, the main partner for EU exports of services was the United States (€193.6 billion, or 26% of extra-EU exports), well ahead of Switzerland (€103.5 bn, 14%), China (€31.7 bn, 4%), Russia (€28.9 bn, 4%) and Japan (€25.6 bn, 3%). The main partner for EU imports of services was also the United States (€182.0 bn, 31% of extra- EU imports), followed by Switzerland (€65.7 bn, 11%), China (€22.6 bn, 4%), Japan (€15.3 bn, 3%), Russia (€12.4 bn, 2%) and Canada (€11.3 bn, 2%).
In 2014, the EU recorded surpluses in trade in services with all its main partners, except Hong Kong (-€0.2 bn). The largest surplus was observed by far with Switzerland (€37.8 billion), followed by Russia (€16.4 bn), the United States (€11.6 bn), Japan (€10.3 bn) and China (€9.2 bn).