Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Robert Habeck and Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, yesterday exchanged views on key aspects of bilateral economic relations.

The talks focused on cooperation in the joint development of a hydrogen economy and critical minerals, as well as the opportunities that a trade agreement between the EU and Australia can offer.

Federal Minister Habeck: "Germany and Australia are important partners. We want to further expand and deepen this partnership with even closer economic cooperation, particularly in the areas of hydrogen and critical minerals. A trade agreement between the EU and Australia would also further strengthen our economic relations and facilitate access to future-oriented markets for German and Australian companies. That's why the EU's negotiations are very important in this field and I'm advocating for an early conclusion of the negotiations.”

Australian Minister Farrell: “Australia and Germany share the same commitment to action on climate change and the transition to net-zero. Trade will play an important role in this. We want the Australia-EU free trade agreement to include the most comprehensive set of climate-related outcomes of any of our trade agreements. I look forward to deeping our cooperation and partnership on hydrogen and critical minerals. Australia’s high-quality and responsibly developed resources can support the EU’s climate ambitions and we want to be a partner of choice. “

Diverse and resilient trading links with likeminded partners have never been more critical than they are today. An ambitious Australia-EU trade agreement would reduce or remove tariffs and other barriers that disadvantage traders and investors. It would promote services trade, particularly in innovative sectors such as green energy. And it would create new opportunities for exchanges of skills and professionals.

Australia is an important partner for Germany and Europe, with whom we share fundamental values and have been cooperating well and intensively for a long time. This is also reflected in the current geopolitical situation. We want to build on this basis and further strengthen our relations. We also want this agreement to support strong labour standards, foster innovation, and deepen our cooperation on the shared challenge of transitioning our economies to more sustainable energy and production.

The trade volume between Germany and Australia has developed positively in recent years and has already recovered from the effects of the pandemic. In 2021, bilateral trade in goods amounted to EUR 13 billion (DEU imports from AUS: approx. EUR 3.1 billion, DEU exports to AUS: approx. EUR 9.9 billion).