Since the foundation of ASEM in 1996, the trade balance has improved considerably for all groups of ASEM partners. For ASEM as a whole, the trade surplus rose from 80 billion in 1996 to 519 billion EUR in 2014. While part of this rise is a result of additional partners joining the ASEM process over time, most of the increase is explained by an improved trade balance and higher levels of trade in the ASEM regions.
In 2014, all the major regions participating in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) recorded a trade surplus. In absolute terms, the trade surplus was highest for the European Union (EU-28), reaching 308 billion EUR. [+]