Country interested in investments from the confederation, pushing for conclusion of a free trade agreement.
Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell has held out the prospect of easier access for Europe to his country’s raw materials sector if a free trade agreement is reached, according to an interview with the news agency Reuters. A corresponding free trade agreement would also simplify access for the European Union to the mandatory review by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). The FIRB evaluates foreign investment proposals in Australia. In this way, Australia would like to create incentives for the EU to sign a corresponding agreement to be able to benefit from it in raw materials investment.
Australia has significant raw material deposits that are in high demand. Farrell also emphasized to Reuters that a major advantage of his country would be access to various raw materials such as rare earths, hydrogen, or ammonia. In addition, the country is the most important producer of the battery metal lithium.
Long-Standing Negotiations to Continue Soon
Negotiations on a free trade agreement between Australia and the European Union have been ongoing since 2018. In July, discussions were held again, but no agreement was reached. The reason for this was that there was disagreement on the topic of agricultural products and to what extent they should be allowed on the European market.
According to the Australian Trade Minister, negotiations on a European-Australian free trade agreement could continue next week. Farrell would then like to exchange views with EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
The fact that more and more countries are showing interest in Australia’s important raw materials and are striving to diversify their supply chains is reflected in the growing number of agreements signed with Australia. For example, the U.S. signed a free trade agreement with the Pacific nation in May this year to invest in the resources sector and green energy, among other things (we reported). In addition, India, among others, concluded agreements with the country, but Indonesia also wants to purchase Australian lithium.
Photo: iStock/Oleksii Liskonih