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China and the EU, two of the biggest markets in the world, have everything to gain by deepening their commercial ties. Since 1978, EU-China trade has increased more than 60-fold and reached around EUR 210 billion in 2005 (Eurostat).

EU relations with Africa

The EU and the US are each other's main trading partners and account for the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. They are also the largest players in global trade.

Over the past four decades, Europe and Japan have emerged together as leading world economic powers, reaching together around 40% of world gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005. Japan's GDP was EUR 3,674 billion in 2005, which represents around 12% of the world total.

Asia is a crucial partner for the EU, whether economically, politically or culturally. The wider Asian and Asia-Pacific region (including South Asia, South-East Asia, North-East Asia and Australasia) accounts for 56% of the world’s population, 25% of world GNP, and 22% of the world’s international trade. The region has been the cradle of several of the world’s major religions, and has an unparalleled cultural richness.

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