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Advanced non-EU economies

Some of the European Union’s most important partners in economic terms are those non-European industrialised countries which are also members of the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20), i.e. the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia.

These countries have important bilateral economic relations with each other and are among the world's largest trading partners. The trade and investment links between the EU and these countries are underpinned by a well-developed set of relations and contacts at the political level.

The United States

The EU and the US together account for about 40% of world GDP (valued at purchasing power parity). Their combined share of world trade is also close to 40%. They enjoy an unprecedented degree of economic interconnectedness. The dollar and the euro are the world’s most important currencies.
The EU and the US have a wide-ranging institutional framework for conducting their economic relationship, much of which is at the multilateral level. Macroeconomic issues are discussed in the G7/G8/G20, the IMF, the OECD, and also through bilateral contacts.

Japan

The EU has a strong and long-standing relationship with Japan which is the third-largest economy in the world outside the Union (valued at purchasing power parity).
The European Commission holds regular High-Level Meetings on Financial Issues with Japan’s Ministry of Finance. These meetings cover macro-economic matters and financial services issues. The ECB and the Bank of Japan are also invited to these meetings. In addition, DG ECFIN holds an annual dialogue with the Japanese Cabinet Office, called ‘EU-Japan Economic Consultations’, on macroeconomic and structural policies, with the emphasis being put on the latter.
In addition, the EU and Japan have a wide-ranging institutional framework for conducting their economic relationship, much of which is at the multilateral level. Macroeconomic issues are discussed in the G7/G8/G20, the IMF, and the OECD.

Canada

Canada is also closely integrated with the EU economy through trade and investment links. The EU is Canada’s second most important trading partner and Canada ranks ninth in terms of EU trade. Investment is a particularly significant feature in the bilateral relationship: the Union is the second largest investor in Canada, while Canada is the fourth largest investor in the EU. The EU and Canada have a wide-ranging institutional framework for conducting their economic relationship, much of which is at the multilateral level. Macroeconomic issues are discussed in the G7/G8/G20, the IMF, the OECD and also through bilateral contacts.

Australia

Australia was one of the few economies that avoided a technical recession during the global financial downturn of 2008/2009. The EU and Australia have a wide-ranging institutional framework for conducting their economic relationship, much of which is at the multilateral level. Macroeconomic issues are discussed in the G7/G8/G20, the IMF, the OECD, and also bilaterally.

Korea

Korea was one of the few economies that avoided a technical recession during the global financial downturn of 2008/2009. The EU and Korea have a wide-ranging institutional framework for conducting their economic relationship, much of which is at the multilateral level. Macroeconomic issues are discussed in the G7/G8/G20, the IMF, the OECD, and also bilaterally. Korea chaired successfully the G20 in 2010.

Switzerland

Switzerland is the second most important export destination for goods and services from the EU, comprising 8% of the total exported. It is nearly on a par with China in terms of goods exported whereas in services it clearly outperforms China's demand for EU services. Switzerland and the EU have good and strong relationship, for instance through EFTA but also through bilateral channels. There is an annual meeting of ECOFIN and EFTA finance ministers as well as numerous bilateral contacts on issues related to macroeconomic and financial developments. Macroeconomic issues are also discussed between Switzerland and the EU in international forums like IMF and OECD.

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