18 Jun 2018
Australian Prime Minister, Minister for Trade and Investment
The Turnbull Government is backing Australian businesses and Australian jobs by launching negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.
We are seeking an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement to drive Australian exports, economic growth and create new Australian jobs.
A trade agreement with the EU will open the door to a market of half a billion consumers and a GDP of US$17.3 trillion - making it one of Australia’s biggest trade agreements once concluded.
Australian exporters are currently at a disadvantage to many of our biggest competitors because Australia lacks preferential access into the EU.
We will be working to secure better access for Australian food and agriculture products, creating the framework for open, fair and equitable trade.
Making Australian exports more competitive means our farmers can sell more produce, our professionals can provide more services and our manufacturers can make and sell more goods. The more Australia sells to the world, the more Australian jobs are created.
We will look to lock in access and create new commercially meaningful opportunities for Australian services exporters, with a focus on education, financial and professional services. We will also explore rules and initiatives to support the digital economy, innovation and increase opportunities for high-technology start ups.
As a bloc, the EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner, third largest export destination, and second largest services market. The EU was Australia’s largest source of foreign investment in 2017.
The EU is one of the best opportunities for Australian businesses and is a key part of the Turnbull Government’s ambitious trade agenda. We will now have agreements, or negotiations underway, with all of our top ten trading partners. The Turnbull Government is pursuing Australia’s most ambitious trade agenda to open more markets, create a stronger economy and more Australian jobs.
The first round of negotiations will be held in Brussels in early July. We invite stakeholders to provide their views throughout the negotiating process.
Please find this media release on the following link: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/australia-eu-free-trade-agreement