Notable recent developments in the Australia-UK and Australia-Europe relationships include the agreement in principle of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement and significant progress on the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement.
Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement
On 15 June 2021, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an agreement in principle of the core elements of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The FTA seeks to drive increased goods and services, two-way investment, economic growth and job creation.
The Australia-UK FTA will result in improved goods access to the markets of both countries. Victorian exporters stand to benefit with 99 per cent of Australian goods by value able to enter the UK duty-free when the agreement enters into force.
Although negotiations are ongoing, this agreement in principle lays the foundations for what will be Australia’s most ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with any country, outside of our partnership with New Zealand. The coming months will see ongoing negotiations between the Australian and British teams to finalise the agreement.
Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement
Australia is currently negotiating an ambitious and comprehensive FTA with the European Union (EU). Negotiations, which began in June 2018, are well underway with the eleventh round of negotiations held virtually in June 2021.
According to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), an FTA with the EU has the potential to open up a market for Australian goods and services of half a billion people and a GDP of US$18.7 trillion. This FTA will assist with post-pandemic economic recovery by providing new market opportunities for Victorian exporters, as well as a competitive edge and more choices about where they conduct business. Victorian consumers and companies are also likely to benefit from this FTA, namely through greater choice in goods and services at lower prices.
For more information and resources on these FTAs under negotiation, visit the DFAT website.
Opportunities in 2021 for Victorian exporters in the UK and Europe
There are emerging opportunities for Victorian exporters in the UK and Europe across several sectors:
- The European Green Deal names clean energy, hydrogen, batteries, microelectronics, high performance computing, low carbon industry, building renovation, circular economy and e-mobility as priorities for investment. This presents opportunities for Victorian companies working in industries that support the green transition, green construction, and low emissions materials present further areas of opportunity.
- Victorian technology companies are active in the UK and Europe across numerous sub-sectors, including participation in Global Victoria’s recent virtual trade missions to the UK focused on Sportstech and Fintech. Victorian capabilities in Future Technology, HealthTech, EdTech, Createch will be featured at the upcoming virtual London Tech Week in September 2021.
- The UK continues to be an attractive market for Fintech companies due to the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge, which offers an opportunity for deeper collaboration between governments, regulators and industry bodies.
- The UK and Australia Space Bridge Framework Arrangement was signed in February 2021 and is expected to strengthen industry ties and lay the foundations for future-space-related trade opportunities.
(Pictured:Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews and British High Commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell - courtesy of Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources)
- Beauty, wellness, and personal care products is a large and growing sector across the UK and Europe. Opportunities exist for niche, premium, or organic brands.
Opportunities also exist in food and beverage, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, professional services, and life sciences sectors.
Other recent virtual trade missions have included Victorian food and beverage exporters showcased virtually at the UK DeliShops Discovers - Australian Expo in April 2021 and Victorian life sciences companies participating at Bio Europe Spring Digital in March 2021.
New members join the UK VGTI team
In July 2021, Christine Spahn and Jeremy Eames were appointed as Trade Managers for the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in London, United Kingdom (UK).
Christine and Jeremy bring a wealth of knowledge to their new roles and look forward to working directly with Victorian exporters to help them connect to opportunities in the UK and Europe.
For more updates on Victoria’s engagement with the UK and Europe, follow the Victorian Government’s Trade and Investment office on Linkedin.
Looking to do business in the UK and Europe?
To find out more on specific opportunities and how Global Victoria can support your business in the UK and Europe, contact our regional specialist, Pamela Wearing by sending her an email.
In-Market Insights Video Series 2020
In-Market Insights is a series of videos presented by our team from across our international network of 23 Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices (VGTIs). The series sheds light on the current state of play in key global markets and sectors.
ISRAEL - October 2020
Episode 24 features Global Victoria's Amanda Joske - Project Manager, Israel-Australia, NZ & Oceania Chamber of Commerce, and Miriam Syber - Melbourne Biomedical Director from our Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Amanda and Miriam share their insights on Israel as a market of opportunity for Victorian businesses in the agtech, medtech and pharma industries.
UK & EUROPE: Defence - September 2020
Episode 23 features Anthony Heath - Global Victoria's Defence, Security & Aerospace Trade & Director - UK & Europe at the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in London Anthony shares insights on emerging opportunities for Victorian defence companies looking to engage with the region.
VIDEO: In-Market Insights: UK & EUROPE - Defence September 2020
UNITED KINGDOM: July 2020
Episode 11 features Global Victoria’s Assistant Trade and Investment Manager Katie van den Bos, and Project Officer Ellen Walsh from the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in the United Kingdom. They share insights on emerging opportunities for Victorian export companies in the UK.
VIDEO: In-Market Insights: UNITED KINGDOM July 2020
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Summer 2020 Update
Victoria’s engagement with the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe continues to strengthen. This year will no doubt deliver a new landscape for Victorian companies seeking to build and expand business ties with the region.
The UK Government is legislating to deliver Brexit at the end of January and has indicated it will pursue a free trade agreement with Australia at the earliest opportunity. Regarding Europe, negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the European Union (EU) will continue apace in
2020. The Victorian Government is advocating for a high-quality agreement that delivers significantly improved access to the EU market for Victorian goods and services.
Victoria’s goods exports to Europe have been dominated by pharmaceuticals and medicaments over recent years. In 2018-19, exports of pharmaceuticals to the EU (excluding UK) reached $443 million, representing a 351 per cent increase over the previous year. Wool ranked second followed by medicaments and
fruit and nuts. In terms of the UK, Victoria’s top merchandise exports were medicaments followed by alcoholic beverages and perfumery and cosmetics.
Showcasing Victoria’s world-class biomedical capabilities
To support Victoria’s medical technology and pharmaceuticals sector, Global Victoria and the Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office in London, UK led a trade mission to BioEurope 2019 in Hamburg, Germany in November.
BioEurope is Europe’s largest partnering conference serving the global biotech industry. Ten Victorian companies participated in the mission, which provided an opportunity to showcase our state's capabilities and facilitate B2B matching in-market.
The mission also included two days in Basel, Switzerland following BioEurope where the Victorian Government facilitated targeted meetings with key players in the region, including Basel Area (Basel’s economic promotion agency), Roche and Novartis.
Also, in November, the Victorian Government hosted a visit by 16 European Union Ambassadors to Melbourne.
Global Victoria together with the University of Melbourne arranged a tour of Victoria’s biomedical precinct in Parkville, which included visits to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
Sixteen European Union Ambassadors learnt about how Global Victoria supports Victorians to do business with the EU
There are strong research partnerships shared between the biomedical precinct and European research institutions and biomedical companies. The Ambassadors also had the opportunity to connect with key Global Victoria representatives.
For any enquiries regarding exports of Victorian medical technology and pharmaceuticals, please contact Libby O’Connor – Global Victoria's Senior Trade Manager, Medtech and Pharma by sending her an email.
In January 2019, the Victorian Government together with Austrade led a trade mission to the Paris Fintech Forum. Victorian companies joined the mission to hear from industry leaders about their expertise in blockchain, cryptocurrency and fintech. As part of the mission Fintech Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with France’s Finance Innovation to promote fintech collaboration.
The mission also included a stop in the UK to build on the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge arrangement established in 2018. Victorian companies met with the Royal Bank of Scotland and visited the Commonwealth Bank Innovation Lab in London and Level39 (Europe’s largest Fintech Accelerator). As part of the Fintech Bridge, Austrade and the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) are developing programs to support more Australian Fintech companies enter the UK. Those that have launched in the UK include Coinjar, Pinpayments, Loke, Afterpay and Airwallex.
In April, DIT announced two Fintech Bridge Pilot Programmes to connect UK businesses with Australia and Hong Kong, which includes a visit to Australia by ten UK fintech companies (Crowd2Fund, Disberse, Fractal, pirkx, Recordsure, Smart Pension, Thyngs, TradingHub, and TrueLayer) before the end of year.
Victoria is home to a rapidly growing number of internationally successful fintech start-ups including Afterpay, Square, Airwallex, Assembly Payments and Pepperstone. In March, it was announced that the industry peak body, Fintech Australia, will relocate its headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne, cementing the city’s reputation as the home of Australia’s digital technology sector. Financial services represent the largest sector of the Victorian economy, employing more than 120,000 people and contributing $47 billion per annum.
Both French and UK delegations plan to attend Intersekt Festival, Australia’s largest annual fintech conference to be held in Melbourne in October 2019. Melbourne will also host the industry’s annual national awards – the ‘Finnies’ – celebrating the achievements of Australia’s best fintech businesses.