This short-term outlook edition coincides with the unfolding of the Covid-19 crisis, making the exercise exceptionally challenging. Market forecasts are based on market intelligence available at the beginning of April 2020 and reflect the Covid-19 impact to the extent possible, with all the caveats and limitations in view of the rapidly evolving situation. In addition, for the first time market outlooks are presented for EU-27, and assume a frictionless trade between the EU and the UK in 2020.
Trade continues to be the least problematic aspect of the EU-China economic relationship. The BRI offers potential trade gains for Europe by improving physical connectivity with countries along the route to China, but it also poses challenges for the EU. While Chinese investment in Europe is growing and has focused strongly on technology, it raises the question of whether the EU should fear losing its technological edge, especially when Chinese state-owned companies might distort competition through foreign acquisitions.