Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement
Australia and the European Union (EU) launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) on 18 June 2018. Based on 2018-19 data, as a bloc, the EU was Australia's second largest trading partner, third largest export destination, and second largest services export market. The EU was Australia's largest source of foreign investment in 20181.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) welcomes submissions throughout the negotiations from interested individuals and groups on the potential opportunities and impacts of an FTA with the EU. Individuals, organisations and groups that make submissions are registered as stakeholders by DFAT for further consultation and follow up, as appropriate. See our Submissions page for more information.
Why is the Government negotiating an FTA with the EU?
Australia and the EU are natural partners, with a shared commitment to the rule of law, global norms and free and open markets. As articulated in the Foreign Policy White Paper, a strong EU is vital to Australian interests in protecting and promoting a rules-based international order. We want an FTA with the EU to set the benchmark for what can be achieved between like-minded partners.
An FTA with the EU has the potential to open up a market for Australian goods and services of half a billion people and a GDP of US$18.7 trillion. It would provide Australian exporters with a competitive edge, and would give Australian businesses access to a larger export market in the EU. Australian consumers and companies stand to benefit from a free trade deal with the EU, through greater access to goods and services at lower prices.
Australia's position in the world as a global top 20 trading nation is underpinned by our advocacy for an open global economy and by our FTAs, which ensure the lowest possible barriers to our trade and investment. Australia is seeking an ambitious and comprehensive FTA with the EU to drive Australian exports, economic growth and job creation.
For more information on the prospective FTA, and on Australia's relationship with the European Union, see the following links:
1All information is current as of 31 January 2020 and includes the United Kingdom. Reliable figures and statistics for the EU27 following the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU are not yet available, apart from population figures. This page will be progressively updated with new data as it becomes available.