EU Council gives the go-ahead for trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand

On the 22nd of May, 2018, the EU Council authorised trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

More information can be found via the following links:

Auslandshandelskammer Australia and New Zealand: Corporate Consultations Available in Frankfurt

The Auslandshandelskammer’s Australian and New Zealand offices are pleased to offer a one-off, free consultation in Frankfurt on the 4th of June 2018 to companies interested in expanding their business interests in this region. Please find more information and the registration form at ‘

ABIE Statement on the EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Australian Business in Europe (ABIE)  is a network of business organisations supporting the advancement of trade in goods and services, and investment, between Australia and Europe. Organisations participating in the ABIE network include businesses, business people and other supporters of the economic relationship all over Europe who work together to promote stronger commercial ties between individual countries in Europe with Australia.

In total trade and investment, Europe remains Australia’s largest economic partner, and Australia is for Europe a strong economic and like-minded partner, strategically located and deeply connected within the fastest growing economic region in the world. Australia and Europe share fundamental values and a common commitment to open, transparent and well-regulated markets, and of high levels of social and environmental protection.

A comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Australia is an essential and currently-missing part of the bilateral economic framework. Europe and Australia interests are highly complementary, and an FTA which addresses market access issues, regulatory barriers and costs will provide better conditions for the business relationship to achieve its full potential. ABIE network organisations are committed to supporting an FTA to secure the common interests and opportunities for European and Australian business.

New .AU Top-Level Domain Name

Top level domain name is likely to be available soon. The .AU Australian Domain Administration Ltd is completing a policy review which has suggested one of the most significant changes in the registration system. Currently, Australia does not enable a domain name registration with simply the company name extension. Businesses register using the so-called “second level domain” extension and other extensions, such as are available for other types of entities and personal websites. This is different than Germany or Europe, for example, which both allow direct .de or .eu registration for a domain name.

Other countries have changed over the past few years. France, for example, changed its system many years ago to allow top-level registration in the form of the .fr domain name registration.

The biggest issue on starting the .au top-level domain name will be the initial allocation. How will this be achieved – on a first-come-first-served basis? Or will users of the corresponding get preference? Or could it be a lottery? What about currently registered trademarks or business names? AUDA has recently issued a policy document outlining options, which can be read here.

The rules for foreign entities with no presence in Australia are also being discussed. Should the .AU domain name be generally available or only open to those who have a trademark registration, for example?

Whatever the final decision on how the registration process is carried out, the opening of the namespace is a significant and long overdue step in modernising the registration system for domain names.



Australian Business in Europe Meeting Update

The Chairs of organisations participating in the informal Australian Business in Europe gathered in Brussels on 13/14th October 2017 for their half-yearly meeting. As the network is growing, participants were able to welcome new groups from Spain and Luxembourg.  The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Australian Embassy in Brussels. As a way of increasing benefits for members of each organization, it was decided to plan a joint event during 2018, focusing on the upcoming Free Trade negotiations between Europe and Australia. Participants also reconfirmed that members of participating organisations can attend events of other organisations at the members price. Many thanks are due to ABIE Belgium for a splendid organisation of the meeting!


ABIE NEWS: New Organisation – Australian Spain Business Association

The German Australian Business Council is delighted to welcome ASAB (Australian Spain Business Association) as a new organisation to ABIE (Australian Business in Europe). We would also like to take this opportunity to remind our members of their ability to attend all ABIE associations events at the member price.

To find out more about the ASAB, including their upcoming events by visiting

To find out more about ABIE, visit

European Cluster Collaboration Platform Logo

Australian Biotechnology Industry

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform has reported recently on the the Australian biotechnology industry, which is considered to be one of the most important biotech sectors in the world.

In terms of the number of companies, the industry is ranked first in the Asian-Pacific area and it is sixth rank of the global market, which makes Australia a leading country in this sector worldwide. The biotech sector in Australia brought €4,9 billion ($7,3 billion AUD) incomes in 2016, for an average of 4% annual growth for the last 5 years (period 2012-2017). Governmental program funding and strong foreign investments have led to a lot of cooperation partnerships with non-Australian companies have stimulated industrial performance in this fast-growing sector. A growth of 4,3% per year is expected for the next few years (period 2017-2022). The biotech industry is now heavily supported by governmental policies, as it is targeted by the National Biotechnology Strategy and has a ministerial organisation dedicated to it: the Commonwealth Biotechnology Ministerial Council.

WebSummit 2017

German Australian Business Council Member Robert Harrison joined a number of other Australians at the WebSummit held recently in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a good opportunity to learn about trends and discuss Australian startups. The event itself attracted over 60,000 people ranging from startup entrepreneurs, politicians, journalists and musicians and is sometimes described as “Davos for Geeks”. It was a mixture of discussions on technical and political matters, training events, and showcasing startup companies from around the world.

Ambassador Rayner with Robert Harrison and Michael Bingel

Ambassador Rayner with Robert Harrison and Michael Bingel

Peter Rayner, Australian Ambassador to Portugal, hosted a reception on the Wednesday evening that was attended by around fifty people, including Michael Bingel from Austrade’s Landing Pad in Berlin. Peter welcomed the Australian attendees and the attention that the WebSummit had brought to the city.

Rob has already booked his ticket for the 2018 event and looks forward to catching up with other Australians who find their way to Lisbon. He’d be happy to help arrange contacts and help with any Australian company that wishes to extend their stay.

Lynette Wood - Austrlian Ambassador

Australian Indigenous Art Exhibition runs in Berlin until April 2018

Evangelos Kotsopoulos attended Thursday´s formal opening of a hugely impressive art exhibition of indigenous Australian art at the me Collector´s Room (a large private gallery in Berlin-Mitte. The exhibition runs through to early April 2018 and is on loan from the National Gallery of Australia. It is the largest collection of this kind which the National Gallery has ever sent outside of the country and shows beautiful, traditional artworks from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders artist, right through to modern/contemporary installations.

Ambassador WoodAmbassador Lynette Wood opened the exhibition and the event was very well attended by about 200 visitors and quite a bit of press.

The show was the culmination and endpoint of the Australia now 2017 cultural year in Germany, which has been a great success.

EU – Australia Framework Agreement

The EU – Australia Framework Agreement was signed by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, on the 7th of August, 2017, in Manila, The Philippines.

Marking the beginning of a new era of strategic cooperation between the European Union and Australia, the EU – Australia Framework Agreement will enable the European Union and Australia to further address challenges dealing with foreign and security policy, sustainable development, climate change, and economic and trade matters.

Closer links between leaders across government, business and civil society will thus be encouraged. The EU – Australia Framework Agreement will guide future engagement between the European Union and Australia, accompanying work towards launching negotiations for a comprehensive EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement.