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On 22 May 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted the decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Australia.

So far the EU and Australia have been conducting their trade and economic relations under the 2008 EU-Australian Partnership Framework. This aims to facilitate trade in industrial products between the EU and Australia by reducing technical barriers and improve trade in services and investment.

More information on the EU-Australia trade negotiations

Trade picture

  • Australia ranked as the 19th largest trade in goods partner of the EU, while the EU represented Australia's 3rd largest trading partner in 2020, after China and Japan and before the US. Total trade in goods account for €36 billion in 2020 (EU surplus of €24 bn), and total trade in services add another €26 billion in 2019.(EU surplus €10 bn).
  • EU bilateral trade with Australia and New Zealand together is about roughly the same size as with Mexico or Canada. To be noted that the EU has a longstanding trade surplus with Australia also for agricultural and processed agricultural products when taken together (€2 034 m in 2020) so is not in all areas defensive on agricultural products.

EU-Australia: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 8.3 31.0 22.7
2019 8.2 30.8 22.6
2020 6.8 29.0 22.1

EU-Australia: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 6.3 16.3 10.0
2018 7.3 17.8 10.5
2019 7.9 18.1 10.2

EU-Australia: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 18.6 117.3 98.7

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Australia

EU and Australia

The EU and Australia concluded the negotiations for a political Framework Agreement which contains a number of economic and trade cooperation arrangements.

The annual senior official-level Trade Policy Dialogue regularly meets to discuss bilateral trade relations.

There is a Mutual Recognition Agreement between the EU and Australia to facilitate trade in industrial products by reducing technical barriers. The agreement creates mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures. This is done to reduce the cost of testing and certifying of exports and imports.

Australia is part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).