Second Canberra Delegation another success

The Chamber organised its second Canberra Delegation on 16 and 17 October.

The smaller delegation group had a more focussed program to deepen the bilateral relationship and to discuss current bilateral developments and opportunities with key political stakeholders. We were delighted that Her Excellency Dr Anna Prinz, German Ambassador to Australia and Patron of the German-Australian Chamber, were able to join us for most of the discussions. In line with our practice, we again engaged both relevant government Ministers and Senators as well as Shadow Ministers to foster bipartisan support for the Australia-Germany relationship.

The single most important topic at the moment is the negotiation process for the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement. The Chamber supports a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that removes both tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in the bilateral relationship. This will lead to more trade in goods and services, more bilateral investments and increased employment as outlined in the EU impact study for the agreement. We discussed various aspects of the agreement with our dialogue partners, including the recognition of standards, government procurement, intra-company visas, the luxury car tax and how to make the agreement usable for small-to-medium enterprises like the German Mittelstand or innovative medium-sized Australian companies.

Other topics such as defence industry, Industry 4.0 and energy were also deliberated. We want to thank you discussion partners Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service and Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Steven Ciobo, the office of Trade and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham, the senior advisors of the Hon Bill Shorten MP, Shadow Minister the Hon Jason Clare MP, Shadow Minister the Hon Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister the Hon Richard Marles MP, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz as well as Cornelis Keijzer and his team at the EU Delegation to Australia.

We will continue our close engagement with relevant bilateral political stakeholders, including during our upcoming Australian Delegation to the 16th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) in Jakarta chaired by Minister Mathias Cormann.