The trade and business relationship between Australia and the Eurepean Union (EU) has evolved and diversified in recent decades. However, Australia’s trade and investment relations with the EU still focus primarily on the United Kingdom and perceptions of the EU in Australia remain influenced by, past conflicts over agricultural trade. A multi-disciplinary team will consider several interlinked aspects of the Australia-EU trade and business relationship: diversification of the relationship beyond agriculture and raw materials into services and investment; shared Australia-EU interest in the context of WTO; perceptions about operating in different business environments across the EU; impediments to trade and investment from ‘behind-the-border regulation’; shared Australia-EU interests in the Asia-Pacific.
This interdisciplinary project will study key elements impacting on the future of the relationship between Australia and the EU, in particular:
- diversification of this relationship beyond agriculture and raw materials (which includes studies of private and public regulation of business activities and their impact on trading partners);
- difficulties experienced by private firms in working across differing business environments (including studies of the specific barriers that Australian companies have experienced in the EU, and their European counterparts in Australia);
- challenges presented by ‘behind-the-border’ regulation; and
- common interests and new directions in EU and Australian trade policies in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in the Asia-Pacific region (including comparative studies of Australian and EU trade negotiations with Korea, India, the ASEAN countries, and the South Pacific).
The project also aims to inform Australian public policy and, in doing so, build capacity for further research into a relationship that is currently under-researched.