During the session the participants analysed the progress during the fourth round of negotiations, the future perspectives and the repercussions of the FTA
The SACF Director, Vega Yubero, travelled to Brussels to participate in this session organized by the Australia Business in Europe (ABIE). Australia Spain Business Association is part of the ABIE, and two representatives from that institution were there as well, Juan Millán, Vice-president, and Gina Bowman, the ASBA link with the ABIE. Finally, to end up with the Spanish representation, a delegate from Navantia, Elena Silvela, Chief of International Relations with the European Union.
Alisson Burrows, Chief Negotiator EU-FTA of the Australian Government offered the assistants from all over Europe an up-to-date information on the outcome of the trade negotiations and the future impact in both economies. Also taking part in the ceremony were Sabine Pittrof, Chair of the German Australian Business Council; Jason Collins, CEO of the European Australian Business Council; Justin Brown, Ambassador of Australia to Belgium, Luxemburg, the European Union and NATO; and Dan Tebbutt, General Manager of AUSTRADE in Europe.
The session focused on the progress of the negotiation, the situation of bilateral relations, the economic impact of the FTA, the increasing European investment in Australia and the growth in the number of Australian companies in Europe, as well like the importance of ABIE's work.
Negotiations on this proposal are progressing, but its evolution depends on the appointment of new positions in the European institutions after the recent elections in May and what finally happens with the BREXIT.
The EU is the second investor in Australia, so this agreement will mean great advances in traditional sectors such as defence or mining and in new sectors such as artificial intelligence and research & development.
The evolution of the negotiations also depends on the different speeds required by certain fields such as agribusiness, data protection or electronic commerce. The definition of professional qualifications to allow mobility is also an important matter in the negotiations.
The progress in other aspects should be highlighted, such as those for SMEs, whose negotiation could be closed in the next round of negotiations.
Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) is a worldwide business network that brings together multiple organisations representing Australian and Australian-interested organisations across Europe with the shared objective of growing and strengthening the trade, investment, business and diplomatic ties between the two regions.
Was founded in London in 1975 and is supported by the diplomatic missions of Australia in different countries as well as by the Commercial Offices of Australia in Europe (AUSTRADE).
Spain is represented in this organization by the Australia Spain Business Association (ASBA), with whom the SACF has a very tight collaboration, and that as the SACF, is chaired by Navantia.
Representatives of the ABIE´s from France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Finland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Ireland assisted to this first event organized by ABIE that was able to bring together almost all the associations that make up the network.
Photo courtesy of ABIE. From L to R: Vega Yubero, SACF Director; Justin Brown, Ambassador of Australia to Belgium, Luxemburg, the European Union and NATO; and Elena Silvela Chief of Navantia´s International Relations with the European Union