ABIE Submission on the proposed AUS-EU Free Trade Agreement

The ABIE submission on the proposed AUS-EU Free Trade Agreement has now been uploaded to the DFAT website.

A direct link to the submission can be found here: https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aeufta/submissions/Documents/australian-business-in-europe-eufta-submission.pdf

A link to the listing of the submissions can be found here: https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aeufta/submissions/Pages/aeufta-submissions.aspx

ABIE FTA Briefing- Brussels, 4th of July 2019

The German Australian Business Council joined our sister organizations as part of the Australian Business in Europe network (www.abie.eu) to host Australia’s Chief Negotiator for the EU Free Trade Agreement, Alison Burrows, as she delivered a Special Briefing on the status of the negotiations along with a distinguished panel including Ambassador to the EU, Justin Brown, Austrade’s European General Manager, Dan Tebbutt and European Australian Business Council CEO, Jason Collins.   The event was attended by ABIE members from all over Europe including the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Spain and the Czech Republic, together with representatives of several Australian-based business associations and industry groups and Australian Federal and State governmental agencies. The ABIE network is a collective of organisations across Europe and Australia collaborating to develop and promote business relations between the two regions.

GABC and Austrade Europe Landing Pad networking evening at betahaus- Berlin, March 2019

On 26th March, 2019 the German Australian Business Council joined the Australian Landing Pad in Europe (run by the Australian Trade & Investment Commission) in hosting a networking evening at betahaus café in Kreuzberg. This event was an opportunity for members and friends to engage both with the Landing Pad community and to meet with the bootcamp delegation visiting Berlin in preparation of Hannover Messe.

Approximately 30 guests were introduced to the 8 strong delegation and the Europe Landing Pad program by its manager, David Urry, and the Australian Trade Commissioner for Germany, Steve Rank. Local beers and Currywurst helped fuel the engaged conversation throughout the three hour event.

Networking BBQ- Berlin, June 2019

On 5 June GABC Berlin hosted an after-work networking BBQ at the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic in Berlin Pankow which is now the base for a local artist collective (https://ex-embassy.com/en/). The small informal event was attended by a dozen members and friends who enjoyed the vast garden, cool drinks and communal cooking experience alongside interesting conversations with other guests and the resident artists. The evening’s highlight was the guided tour of the historic landmark building and some of the exhibitions on display by the artists. We look forward to hosting further relaxed after-work events for the Berlin community in the near future. The next Berlin event will be the annual Sommerfest der Wirtschaftsverbände at Chalet Suisse on the 30th of August, 2019.

Photo: Maurizio Camagna

Networking BBQ- Berlin, June 2019

On 5 June GABC Berlin hosted an after-work networking BBQ at the former Australian Embassy to the German Democratic Republic in Berlin Pankow which is now the base for a local artist collective (https://ex-embassy.com/en/). The small informal event was attended by a dozen members and friends who enjoyed the vast garden, cool drinks and communal cooking experience alongside interesting conversations with other guests and the resident artists. The evening’s highlight was the guided tour of the historic landmark building and some of the exhibitions on display by the artists. We look forward to hosting further relaxed after-work events for the Berlin community in the near future. The next Berlin event will be the annual Sommerfest der Wirtschaftsverbände at Chalet Suisse on the 30th of August, 2019.

China and Asia-Pacific Investment Seminar, Frankfurt

Corporate members Bird & Bird LLP and Austrade invite German Australian Business Council Members and Friends to a seminar on key topics affecting current trade and investment between Europe and the Asia Pacific region including the post-election changes to the energy landscape in Australia.

The event will take place on the 26th of June, 2019. More information and registration details can be found at the link below:

https://sites-twobirds.vuture.net/60/5795/june-2019/invitation-supply-chain-and-energy-26-06-19-blank.asp

EU Australia Flag

EU – Australia Free Trade Agreement

The European Union and Australia are currently negotiating a free trade agreement to promote and increase trade between the two countries. We have already submitted some comments, but there is still a chance to contribute to the discussion and we’d be delighted for your input. The submission will be a collective effort developed by the network of Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) organisations, of which the German Australian Business Council is a member and will be submitted prior to the fourth round of negotiations to be held in Brussels in early July 2019.

 

Share your stories: successes and failures

We would be pleased to hear stories from both Australian and European businesses. The FTA negotiators want to understand the opportunities and challenges faced by businesses, big and small, when seeking to leverage free trade agreements to export their goods and services.

Have you successfully taken advantage of free trade agreements to export into new markets and reaped the rewards? This may have been in established markets such as the US or in developing markets such as northern Asia.

Or, did you try but it was a frustrating and unsuccessful experience? Are you wary of the risks or costs involved in exporting?

For either outcome, your stories and experiences are valuable to the negotiation process. DFAT is particularly interested in details of specific obstacles to trade and investment that the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement could address.

Topics of interest in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Key topics discussed during the negotiations to date have included:

  • Trade in Goods
  • Rules of Origin
  • Customs and Trade Facilitation
  • Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters
  • Trade Remedies
  • State-owned enterprises
  • Competition and Subsidies
  • Government Procurement
  • Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Services and Investment
  • E-Commerce/Digital Trade
  • Intellectual Property
  • SPS and Animal Welfare
  • Trade and Sustainable Development
  • Energy and Raw Materials
  • Dispute Settlement
  • Transparency and Good Regulatory Practices
  • Small and Medium Enterprises

How to participate in the ABIE submission

To participate or if you have any questions, please contact GABC Office Administrator, Elizabeth Matters, at office@gabc.eu. She will collate the feedback from German Australian Business Council members which will be complied and included within the collective ABIE submission.

If you prefer, your information and stories can be included anonymously.

Make an independent submission

We also encourage both Australian and European companies to make an independent submission to DFAT. For submission information and examples: https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aeufta/submissions/Pages/submissions.aspx

For background on the Australia-EU FTA negotiations:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-balanced-and-progressive-trade-policy-to-harness-globalisation/file-eu-australia-fta

https://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aeufta/Pages/default.aspx

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/australia/

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/december/tradoc_157565.pdf

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1865

Australian Parliament Building

New Australian Government Announced by Prime Minister

After the Australian elections, the new (old) Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced the new cabinet lineup for the Australian Government, as reported by the ABC here.

The government includes a number of women ministers – seven, which is an all-time high for Australia – and the country’s first indigenous cabinet minister, Ken Wyatt, who will serve as the Minister for Indigenous Affairs. Josh Frydenberg will be the Treasurer, whilst fluent German speaker Mathias Corman will remain in government as minister for Finance. The exiting minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, retains her responsibilities.

The full list of ministers in the Australian Government is

Prime Minister
Minister for the Public Service
The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians
The Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Regional Development
The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management
The Hon David Littleproud MP

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure
The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Treasurer
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

Minister for Finance
(Vice-President of the Executive Council)
(Leader of the Government in the Senate)
Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann

Minister for Agriculture
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Women
Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
(Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate)
Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Attorney-General
Minister for Industrial Relations
(Leader of the House)
The Hon Christian Porter MP

Minister for Health
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet
The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Home Affairs
The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Minister for Education
The Hon Daniel Tehan MP

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology
The Hon Karen Andrews MP

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
The Hon Angus Taylor MP

Minister for the Environment
The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Minister for Defence
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Families and Social Services
(Manager of Government Business in the Senate)
Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
The Hon Stuart Robert MP

AfterPay Logo

AfterPay Australia becomes ClearPay in the UK

Australian-based Afterpay has had to re-brand itself ClearPay for its launch into the European marketplace. Its brand name “Afterpay” was already taken by a Dutch company and the Australian company’s trade mark registration was opposed, according to a story AfterPay Logoin the Sydney Morning Herald. The two services are similar – both intending to enable online shopping to be simpler and safer. They differ in that the Australian company’s service enables instalment payments – similar to the traditional “layby” schemes – whereas the Arvato enables post-payment of purchased goods.

Afterpay will use its arrow logo across the different markets and hopes that this will provide the necessary brand recognition.

The case shows the importance for Australian companies of getting trade mark registrations in place early in all potential future markets to ensure that there is no need to re-brand. In this case, Afterpay had an alternative name available to it in the UK that it could use. However, alternative brands are not always easily available and it’s important to get trademark registrations in place early. Merely putting a domain name in place is unlikely to be sufficient – at the latest when a competitor files for its own similar or identical trademark.

GABC represented on Deutsche Welle’s Business Programs

The German Australian Business Council was represented on Deutsche Welle’s Business and Business Asia Programs on the 17th of May 2019 by Board Chair, Sabine Pittrof. A variety of topics such as renewable energy, the Australian election and the upcoming Australian-EU Free Trade agreement were discussed.

 

 

A link to the full interviews can be found below:

https://www.dw.com/en/dw-business-europe/av-48772457

https://www.dw.com/en/dw-business-asia/av-48778957