November of 2015 saw the beginning of a process towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Australia.
We believe this was a fundamental move, considering that the EU is Australia’s largest source of foreign investment, and second largest trading partner.
In the words of Australia’s Trade Minister, Steven Ciobo “An Australia-EU FTA has the potential to drive economic growth by opening up new export opportunities, enhancing investment flows, and removing trade barriers for businesses.”
April of this year brought considerable progress on the matter, as a “scoping study” meant Australia and the European Union came to an agreement over the nature of the FTA.
Now in its final stages, the FTA’s formal negotiations are just around the corner. This presents a crucial period to lobby for the best possible outcome from this agreement.
The German Government has been doing just that. Last week, several state secretaries met at the Reichstag in Berlin. This was part of the delegation of German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) to the German government. Notable participants included Andrew McKenzie (CEO of Rio Tinto), Jeff Connolly (CEO of Siemens) and of course, Dr Maria Boehmer (Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Office).
As supporters of this bilateral agreement, our GM of Energy & Infrastructure, Jan Rieche attended this crucial meeting and advocated for maximal German-Australian benefits.
In our Bilateral Trades Down Under Interview, Kristian Wolf, Executive Director of GACIC, perfectly summed up the prospects of the FTA: “Whilst there are always some challenges to overcome during the negotiations, both sides will benefit from its implementation. In addition, the FTA would open up opportunities that Australia has to offer for European countries that wish to invest in the Asia Pacific.”
The Polyglot Group is in complete agreement with Kristian, and as such, we anticipate an ease of trade relations in the near future.