Canberra, 23 August 2022 (TDI): Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia welcomed Reinhard Butikofer, a member of the European Parliament.

Both sides discussed Australia & the EU’s shared business and commercial interests. Australia and the European Union cooperate closely on a range of issues, across both Europe & the Indo-Pacific.

Australia-EU relations

Australia ranked as the 19th largest trade-in goods partner of the EU, while the EU represented Australia’s 3rd largest trading partner in 2020. EU bilateral trade with Australia and New Zealand together is about roughly the same size as with Mexico or Canada.

EU also has a longstanding trade surplus with Australia also for agricultural and processed agricultural products.

Both sides also concluded the negotiations for a political Framework Agreement which contains a number of economic and trade cooperation arrangements.

The annual senior official-level Trade Policy Dialogue regularly meets to discuss bilateral trade relations.

Moreover, there is a Mutual Recognition Agreement between both sides to facilitate trade in industrial products by reducing technical barriers. The agreement creates mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures. This is done to reduce the cost of testing and certifying exports and imports.

Free Trade Agreement

Australia and the European Union (EU) also launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) on 18 June 2018.

The FTA builds upon both sides’ natural partnership, arising out of a shared commitment to the rule of law, global norms, and free and open markets. EU will assist with post-pandemic economic recovery by providing new opportunities in a highly significant market for Australian goods and services.

It will also provide Australian exporters with a competitive edge and more choices about where they do business. Australian consumers and companies will stand to benefit through greater choice in goods and services at lower prices.