The Australian British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) welcomed a step forward in the future of Australian-British trade relations following Wednesday’s announcement of a bilateral Trade Working Group between the two countries.
The announcement came following a meeting of Australia’s Trade Minister, Hon Steven Ciobo MP and the Department for International Trade Secretary of State Dr Liam Fox. The Trade Working Group will focus on a future comprehensive Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
“This is a positive progression on the road to a free trade agreement between the UK and Australia,” said the Chief Executive of the ABCC, David McCredie.
“While the UK remains constrained in its ability to complete an FTA, preparatory work at this stage will continue to bring a focus to the opportunities that lie ahead for the UK and Australia.”
Mr McCredie was invited by the Australian Trade Minister to London as an observer of Minister Ciobo, and has met with UK Government representatives, business leaders and think tanks on a variety of bilateral issues.
“I’ve gained a strong sense of encouragement from the Australian Government’s strong show of support for our trade and investment communities, and equally a strengthened commitment from those we’ve met based here in the UK to support the bi-lateral relationship.” said Mr McCredie.
The ABCC heralds the Australian Trade Minister’s visit to the UK this week as an important step for Australia and the United Kingdom as they develop a clearer understanding of the impact of the UK’s referendum to leave the EU.
This Friday discussions between the UK and Australian governments continue through the Australia-UK Ministerial Dialogue (AUKMin) on defence and security. These talks will help forge closer ties in a post-Brexit environment.
Mr McCredie will have further meetings with the British High Commissioner to Australia as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Trade this week while in London.
About the ABCC:
The Australian British Chamber of Commerce is the leading organisation created to facilitate the development of business relationships among companies operating in Australia.
The Chamber has developed to further support bilateral trade by providing opportunities for business people to be informed by and exposed to the ideas of successful leaders. Business relationships are developed at a personal level and the Chamber provides support for this process.