The German-Australian Chamber is strongly involved in the discussions with all relevant stakeholders in the lead-up to the start of negotiations for the Australia – European Union Free Trade Agreement. Beside ongoing discussions with our member companies, the European Commission, the German government and the Australian government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the German-Australian Chamber has also prepared submissions to DFAT and, together with the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK e.V.) and the New Zealand German Business Association, to the European Commission. You can find both submissions on this page. Just as a background: Due to the European Union’s Single Market, the European Commission has the authority to negotiate Free Trade Agreements, not individual member states. However, once a draft agreement is reached, most Free Trade Agreements require confirmation through the European Parliament and national parliaments.
In those two submission, the German-Australian Chamber highlights areas of particular importance and concern for the German-Australian business community, especially medium-sized companies from the German “Mittelstand”. Those areas include, beside the removal of tariff barriers and other trade barriers such as the Luxury Car Tax, visa regulations for the access of specialists, recognition of overseas qualifications and skills, product standards and specifications, foreign investment rules and other barriers to trade such as some quarantine rules.