What would improve your business with Europe?

In November 2015 the Prime Minister announced that Australia and the European Union will start negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement.

As a bloc, the EU is Australia’s largest source of foreign investment and second largest trading partner. In 2014, the EU’s foreign direct investment in Australia was valued at $169.6 billion and Australian foreign direct investment in the EU was valued at $83.5 billion. Total two-way merchandise and services trade between Australia and the EU was worth $83.9 billion.

This indicates that there are no major impediments to doing business with Europe, but does that mean that things can’t be improved?

As open as Europe is, members often cite a number of behind-the-border barriers to trade, particularly around standards and naming rights.

Do you have any specific examples of areas you’d like addressed in negotiations? Here are some examples of the areas that the negotiators will be focussing on. They can’t represent your interests if they don’t know that there is a problem to fix:

  • goods market access (tariffs and quotas)
  • biosecurity and food safety issues
  • regulatory issues
  • customs procedures
  • cross-border trade in services
  • investment, including investor-state dispute settlement
  • government procurement
  • intellectual property, including geographical indications
  • movement of persons
  • competition policy
  • sustainable development.

To make your comments please contact Louise McGrath, Ai Group’s National Manager Business and International Advisory Services, or leave a comment below.

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Having joined Ai Group in 2000, Louise has managed a number of trade-related projects including trade missions, business matching and the development of export-related training programs. Since 2009 she has led Ai Group's service delivery to our smaller associations, providing governance, policy and business development support, and is Executive Officer of the Australia Saudi Business Council and the Australian Russian Dialogue.

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