New German deal pursued with fresh zeal
The Australian Government has announced it will seek a new free trade agreement, this time with the nation of Germany.
While the China-Australia FTA has been called a “game changer”, and the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement continues to threaten online freedom, Australia and Germany will soon nut out a new deal of their own.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel have set up a new joint working group for bilateral talks in Sydney this week.
The working group will have several aims, Abbott says, including finding ways for the two countries to deepen their relationship and cooperate better in the Indo-Pacific region.
Current figures shows there are over 700 German-owned businesses and subsidiaries operating in Australia, covering a range of industries including automotive, advanced manufacturing and clean energy.
“We've got a strong two way trade but it can be stronger,” Mr Abbott said.
“In the 2012/13 financial year, Germany was Australia's tenth-largest merchandise trading partner, with trade topping $13 billion.
“Of that figure though, $11 billion was for imports.”
Australia's investment in Germany is estimated at nearly $49 billion for the same period.
Talks to determine the scope and scale of the deal will begin in Sydney today.