Interim Report: Inquiry into the Australian Government’s Approach to Negotiating Trade and Investment Agreements, February 2024

The German Australian Business Council were invited to provide feedback on the Inquiry into the Australian Government’s Approach to Negotiating Trade and Investment Agreements in a public hearing at Parliament House, Canberra in October 2023. On 6 February 2024, the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth presented its interim report on this matter.

The report is available at: The Australian Government’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements – Parliament of Australia (


What’s at the core of the Australian German relationship? January 2024

Here is a LinkedIn post from the Australian Embassy Germany highlighting Australia and Germany’s work together on a wide range of shared bilateral, regional and global interests. These include security and defence, strengthening the multilateral system, tackling Climate Change, and supporting the green transition, with particular collaboration on Hydrogen and Critical Minerals. Plus the successful connections cover the full breadth of political, scientific, economic, and cultural exchange.

(28) Post | LinkedIn


Business Council Public Hearing Appearance – FTA Negotiation Inquiry, 20 October

Following the Free Trade Agreement submission made by the German Australian Business Council, we have been invited by the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth to appear at a public hearing in Parliament House, Canberra regarding their inquiry into the Australian Government’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements.

The public hearing will be broadcast on the Parliament House website (link below). Individuals can listen to the public hearing by clicking on the relevant link on the website. A recording of the public hearing will also be uploaded to the website.

Date: Friday, 20 October 2023

Time: 3:10 to 3:50pm AEDT / 6:10 to 6:50am CEST

Link: Watch, Read, Listen – Parliament of Australia (

Representing the Business Council at the public hearing are board members: The Hon. André Haermeyer, Dr Robert Harrison, Elisabeth Opie and Dr Sabine Pittrof.

If you are interested, please feel free to click on the link and follow the hearing.

Madeleine King

Australian Minister for Resources, Madeleine King, in Europe

Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Madeleine King, is currently in Europe to promote Australia as a reliable supplier of critical minerals to support global efforts to reach net-zero.  Minister King will hold bilateral talks with ministerial counterparts from Germany, the EU, France and the UK, and will participate in the inaugural International Energy Agency (IEA) Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit on September 28 in Paris.

Talks will involve industry representatives from across Europe and the UK, including Europe’s automotive industry, which will need more critical minerals to manufacture electric vehicles.

“Australia has the critical minerals the world needs to help lower emissions, and we have well-established export supply chains built over decades through our iron ore and gas industries,” Minister King said.

“Australia’s resources sector also has high environmental and social governance standards (ESG), and a global reputation as a stable and reliable export partner.

“I released Australia’s new Critical Minerals Strategy in June, which lays out Australia’s support for the industry and our plan to become a globally significant supplier of critical minerals by 2030.”

The visit to Europe and the UK will be a chance to outline how Australia is working with the sector and cooperating with international partners to diversify global supply chains and support investment in the mining and processing of key critical minerals.

“The world’s clean energy transition will ride on the back of Australia’s critical minerals,” Minister King said.

“Critical minerals are crucial components of clean energy technologies such as batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage, as well as for wind farms and solar panels.”

Australia is the world’s leading producer of unprocessed lithium, the world’s third-largest cobalt exporter and the fourth-largest exporter of rare earths. Australia is also the fourth-largest exporter of mined copper and nickel and a significant producer of aluminium.

GABC Inquiry into the Australian Government’s Approach to Negotiating Trade & Investment Agreements Submission, September 2023

A further submission regarding an inquiry into the Australian Government’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements was sent to the Joint Committee on Trade and Investment Growth of the Parliament of Australia by the German Australian Business Council on 22 September 2023

Thanks are extended to those involved in putting this further submission together, in particular Robert Harrison and Elisabeth Opie, and supported by André Haermeyer.

The submission can be found here: GABC Inquiry into the Australian Government’s Approach to Negotiating Trade & Investment Agreements Submission, September 2023


ABIE Tax Residency Submission, September 2023

On 21 September 2023 a submission was made by the Australian Business In Europe network (ABIE) network on behalf of the German Australian Business Council regarding the Treasury in relation to the Modernising Individual Tax Residency – Consultation Paper July 2023. The submission was sent to the following:
• Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of Australia
• Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer
• Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Tourism, Finance
• Premiers of States and Chief Ministers of Territories
• Agent-Generals
• Austrade CEO and GM – Europe

Thank you to Jennifer Tucker and Nicola Palmer, ABIE Netherlands for authoring the submission. Special thanks to all Business Council members and friends that responded to the survey, your input was greatly appreciated.

The submission can be found here: ABIE Tax Residency Submission, September 2023


AFL Grand Final Viewing, Fox and Hound, Frankfurt, 30 September at 6am

Come and join the Frankfurt Football Club at the Fox and Hound in Frankfurt to watch the 2023 AFL Grand Final. Everyone is welcome!


GABC Chair meets Australian PM, Berlin, July 2023

Business Council Chair, Sabine Pittrof had the pleasure of attending a reception in honour of the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Anthony Albanese in Berlin. The Prime Minister spoke about the importance of the relationship of the two countries and strong business relations. He emphasised the significance of the recent defence deal with Germany purchasing Boxer vehicles from Australia and energy collaboration. Mr Albanese added that already four cabinet ministers had visited Germany during his term of government.
The Business Council welcomes this increased focus on the bilateral relationship and will continue to support the strengthening of bilateral business ties through its various activities.


Queensland, Bavaria research agreement to help combat climate change

The Queensland Government has today signed a new science research agreement between the Bavarian State Government of Germany and the Queensland Government.

The exciting new agreement helps us unlock the strengths of our two states capabilities and fosters increased cooperation in research, development and industry collaboration at the higher education level to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, particularly in the bio economy sector. It will help us work together and faster in trying to meet our most pressing global challenges, climate change and achieving net zero emissions.

This important agreement was signed during a live video teleconference by the Hon. Leanne Linard MP, Queensland’s Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Markus Blume, Bavarian Minister for Science and the Arts.

This partnership will drive forward some already existing and very effective relationships between our world leading universities and create new areas for collaboration and opportunity in critical areas such as, but not exclusively:

☀ energy (including green hydrogen, synthetic fuels and energy storage)
💧 cleantech and emission reduction technologies
🤖 artificial intelligence
🖥 quantum technologies
🏗 additive manufacturing
🔬 life sciences, biomedical research and bioeconomy
🚀 aerospace

On behalf of the Queensland Government, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science supported by Trade and Investment Queensland will help guide and deliver upon this agreement in practice, working with universities, researchers, institutes and commercial organisations.  Henriette Pook, our dedicated Director, Research Partnerships based in Frankfurt, Germany will be leading TIQ’s efforts, together with colleagues in Brisbane, Frankfurt and London.

Learn more about the agreement and signing that took place virtually this morning here:

Queensland and Bavarian universities, researchers and all interested stakeholders wishing to learn more about the agreement should contact Henriette and our Trade and Investment Queensland colleagues today.

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Volt Resource announces successful restart of graphite production at their Ukrainian mine

Australian-based graphite producer and graphite anode materials developer Volt Resources Limited has announced on 8 May that, following the winter stoppage at the Ukrainian Zavalievsky graphite mine and processing plant, in-depth production planning determined a one-month-per-quarter production cycle. Production of graphite subsequently recommenced on 11 April 2023. As of 5 May 2023, over 700 tonnes of graphite concentrate had been produced, including a record daily production of 88 tonnes on 26 April 2023. The average daily production is 54 tonnes with most of the graphite concentrate produced during the campaign achieving 88-96% purity. The Company plans to complete this current production campaign in mid-May 2023.

Volt CEO, Prashant Chintawar, said “Zavalievsky Graphite is a part of our growth strategy, and positions Volt as one of a small number of ex-China graphite producers globally. We congratulate the Zavalievsky team for overcoming many challenges, including power and supply chain disruptions, and personnel availability, to execute our operating plan for 2023 and deliver a very successful restart of the operation”.

Volt Resources is a client of German Australian Business Council member, DGWA based in Frankfurt. They have arranged for Volt to highlight their activities as a supplier of raw materials and their operation in war-torn Ukraine in a webinar on 23 May at 12:00 CEST. Feel free to sign up at this link.

Our raw materials focus group has organised this event. Reach out to us if you are interested in participating.