Australia and the European Union (EU) recently announced their intention to negotiate a framework agreement to strengthen their trade and economic relationship. This agreement is aimed at reducing trade barriers, increasing investment flows, and promoting sustainable development.
The negotiations are expected to cover a wide range of issues, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, and regulatory cooperation. The agreement will also address issues related to labor and environmental standards, human rights, and gender equality.
The framework agreement is expected to provide a roadmap for future negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and the EU. Currently, the two economies are already significant trading partners, with two-way trade in goods and services worth over €47 billion in 2019.
The proposed agreement is seen as a significant step towards strengthening economic ties between Australia and the EU. The EU is Australia’s third-largest trading partner and the largest source of foreign investment. The EU is also the largest market for Australian goods and services exports, accounting for 17.7% of total exports in 2019.
The EU is also a key player in multilateral trade negotiations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and is committed to promoting sustainable development and environmental protection. The framework agreement between Australia and the EU is expected to reflect these values, with a focus on promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The negotiations for the framework agreement are expected to take several months, with the first round of talks scheduled for June 2021. The negotiations will be led by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade.
In conclusion, the proposed framework agreement between Australia and the EU marks an important step towards strengthening their economic relationship. The agreement is expected to reduce trade barriers, increase investment flows, and promote sustainable development. The negotiations for the agreement are expected to take several months, and it will be interesting to see how the two sides navigate the complex issues involved in the negotiations.