The head of Promotion in the EU countries of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and the European Union of the Australian Embassy in Brussels, Juliana Nam, analyzed the general picture of the situation of the negotiations of the agreement between both regions and the potential benefits of the latter for Spanish companies, during a meeting at the Business Confederation. The President of International CEOE, Marta Blanco and the Australian Ambassador to Spain, Julie-Ann Guivarra, also took part in the event to present the country's economic situation and business and investment opportunities.
The CEO of International CEOE, Marta Blanco, highlighted the importance of the meeting to learn more about the trade negotiations of the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement and highlighted the great potential that exists between Spain and the country in terms of trade and investment . He also stressed that there are a large number of Spanish companies operating there and it is expected that the Agreement will increase. Blanco acknowledged that it is not easy to reach a consensus, but insisted that the government bodies must be trusted. "Talking about free trade and business opportunities is great news considering the international context," he emphasized.
Australia's ambassador to Spain, Julie-Ann Guivarra, explained that her country has experienced continuous economic growth for twenty-eight years, with 10,000 foreign companies installed in the area, with an investment of 3.7 trillion dollars. In this regard, he also reported that Australia is the seventh destination for tourists, the third destination for foreign students and that it represents 65% of the global economic growth of the last decade in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Ambassador noted that Europe is the second largest trading partner for Australia and where most of the foreign investment comes from. With regard to Spain, he stressed that there is still great potential to be exploited in relation to trade and investment. In this regard, he said that during the last fifteen years bilateral trade has increased by 20% and added that there are currently more than 100 Spanish companies in the country and more than 40 Australians in Spain, in sectors such as finance, energy, agriculture , education or mining, among others.
Guivarra highlighted the opportunities for Spanish companies in infrastructure, taking into account that by 2031 the Australian population is expected to reach 30 million people, so demand must be met and productivity boosted. In renewable energy, he explained, one in five homes already feeds on solar panels in 2018, 21% of the electricity comes from renewable energy and is intended to reduce the cost to consumers. The Ambassador announced an ambitious transport infrastructure plan, which has an investment of 100 billion dollars in addition to the existing budget and where Spanish companies are very well positioned to participate in projects in that sector.
EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement
The head of Promotion in the EU countries of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and the European Union of the Australian Embassy in Brussels, Juliana Nam, indicated that Australia currently has eleven free trade agreements in force with 18 countries member of the WTO and others in negotiation, which represents great opportunities for foreign investment and an excellent gateway to the Asia Pacific region.
As regards the negotiations of the Agreement between the EU and Australia, Nam explained, various working groups have been created to analyze issues such as trade in goods, services, rules of origin, intellectual property, facilitation of commerce, digital commerce, energy, telecommunications, sustainable development, technical barriers to trade or transparency, among others.
In this regard, he noted that the main objectives of the Treaty are to develop trade in goods between the EU and Australia, facilitating market access for products from both countries and reducing trade barriers; improve access for service providers; increase investment between Australia and the EU; protect and strengthen intellectual property rights; ensure equality in the competition of companies, supporting and facilitating access to SMEs so that they also benefit from the Agreement; promote common values in the field of trade and promote sustainable development; and do everything possible to ensure that the treaty is implemented efficiently and effectively. Finally, he explained that the Agreement negotiations began in June 2018 and a first round was held in July in Brussels. The second is expected to take place from November 19 to 23 in Canberra.