High-tech products: increase in extra-EU trade

Between 2011 and 2021, extra-EU imports and exports of high-tech products grew at a similar pace, both recording an annual average increase of around 5 %.









In 2021, the EU imported most of its high-tech products from China (38 % of total extra-EU imports), followed by the United States (19 %) and Switzerland (8 %).

The largest category of high-tech products imported from China was electronics used for telecommunications, while for the United States and Switzerland, these categories were high-tech products used for aerospace and pharmaceuticals, respectively.

Meanwhile, most extra-EU exports of high-tech products went to the United States (25 % of total extra-EU exports), followed by China (12 %) and the United Kingdom (10 %).

The largest category of high-tech products exported to the United States was pharmaceuticals, while for China and the United Kingdom, these categories were electronics for communications and computers & office machines, respectively.

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Methodological notes: 

  • High-tech products fall into 9 subcategories: aerospace, armament, chemistry, computers & office machines, electrical machinery, electronics-telecommunications, non-electrical machinery, pharmacy and scientific instruments
  • The full list of high-tech products can be found in the document on high-tech aggregation by SITC Rev. 4.