A trade deal between Australia and the European Union should begin to be negotiated before the end of this year. The EU parliament has decided on Thursday about the mandate for this negotiation. It is going to be a complex deal concerning investment, trade with goods and services, digitalization, research, innovation, sustainable development and much more.
EU also wants to focus on helping small and medium businesses gain access to the market. They should have more opportunities to win government contracts in Australia. The politician who led the mandate through the EU parliament, Daniel Caspary, sees this trade agreement as a great positive. The countries will get closer and more open while protectionism grows in other parts of the world.
Europe is Australian’s third biggest trade partner. The trade flow in both directions together is worth about 68 billion Australian Dollars. Despite that, Australia is one of the six countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) who doesn’t have any preferential access to the EU market.
The mandate has to be agreed by EU country leaders. That is expected to happen by the end of November, which would allow negotiations to start before the end of year 2017.