Bringing Australia and the EU Closer: Is an FTA the solution?
For the last twenty years Australia and the European Union have been seeking an enduring model for a closer intergovernmental and business relationship. Since October 2010 the two have been negotiating a treaty-level Framework Agreement, which would provide for closer cooperation and consultation across a range of policy areas. Specific commitments in trade policy are not, however, envisaged by either side. After more than three years these negotiations have not yet been finalised.
The EU has recently sought Free Trade Agreements with many of Australia’s major Asia-Pacific and OECD trading partners such as South Korea, India, Singapore, Canada, Japan and the United States. These ‘new generation’ FTAs aim to go beyond border measures such as tariffs. Proposed liberalisations extend to ‘behind the border’ regulatory barriers impacting on trade in both goods and services. At the same time, prospects for revitalising the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations are not bright.
Given these realities and the importance of the EU as a trading partber for Australia, is it time to explore an FTA between the EU and Australia?
This conference brings together current knowledge on Australia-EU trade relations and recent negotiating experiences of both parties in order to examine issues and prospects for an EU-Australia FTA. It examines opportunities that such an agreement could offer andprobes the priority issues for both sides. It identifies key barriers that FTA negotiations would need to overcome for benefits to be realised. Particular attention will be given to recent negotiations between the EU and Canada for a ‘Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement’ – now close to completion – as a point of comparison with Australia, given similarities in interests and trade profiles.
The programme features speakers representing private enterprise, government and academia, and include a panel discussion on views of Australian and European business chaired by the European Australian Business Council. It includes:
- Roderick Abbott, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), Brussels
- Bruce Gosper, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)
- Pascal Kerneis, European Services Forum, Brussels
- Daniel Schwanen, CD Howe Institute, Canada
- Yoo-Duk Kang, Korean Institute for International Economic Policy
- Deborah Elms, Temasaek Foundation Centre for Trade and Negotiations, Nanyang University Singapore
The conference programme is available as a PDF file.
Some of the speakers' PowerPoint slides can be viewed below
(in their order of presentation at the conference):
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
- The EU-Korea FTA: Breaking new ground (PDF 1400KB)
Yoo-Duk Kang, Head of Europe Team, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy
- The case of the EU-Singapore FTA (PDF 830KB)
Deborah Elms, Head, Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations, S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
- Australia-EU trade in services: the case of Australian architecture firms (PDF 1500KB)
Christopher Findlay, University of Adalaide and Hussain Rammal, Associate Director, Australian Centre for Asian Business, University of South Australia
- Outcomes of Industry Consultations: Australia-EU Trade and Investment Issues (PDF 220KB)
Armon Hicks, Managing Partner, Kreab Gavin Anderson
- Bringing Australia and the EU Closer – Is an FTA a Solution? (PDF 80KB)
Paul Gretton, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Productivity Commission
Thursday, 28 November 2013
- Services Trade Issues for an Australia-EU FTA (PDF 1300KB)
Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director, European Services Forum, Brussels
- Preparatory approaches to overcoming regulatory NTBs in an Australia-EU FTA (PDF 640KB)
Andrew Willcocks, ANU Centre for European Studies, The Australian National University
- Mutual Recognition and Mutual Evaluation in the EU Services Directive: lessons for an Australia-EU FTA? (PDF 100KB)
Anne McNaughton, ANU College of Law, The Australian National University
- The changed architecture of the CAP over two decades: trade policy implications for Australia (PDF 205KB)
Carsten Daugbjerg, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
- Opportunities for Australian agriculture from an EU-Oz FTA: perceptions from Australian industry (PDF 530KB)
Karen Hussey & Carl Tidemann, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University
- The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Progress and Implications (PDF 100KB)
Annmarie Elijah, ANU Centre for European Studies, The Australian National University
- The EU Case for an FTA with Australia (PDF 150KB)
Roderick Abbott, European Centre for International Political Economy
- An FTA with the EU: what could be gained? (PDF 420KB)
Bruce Gosper, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)
- Conference Conclusions (PDF 45KB)
Associate Professor Donald Kenyon, Centre for European Studies, ANU