On 2 December 2016, The EU Centre for Global Affairs collaborated with the Australian Services Roundtable (ASR) and the European Australian Business Council (EABC) to sponsor a high profile European business visitor, Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director of the European Services Forum, to address a Business Breakfast Forum in Sydney In Pursuit of Services Trade and Investment Outcomes in the Australia/EU FTA.
Hosted by Robert Regan, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, convened by Alina Bain, CEO of ASR and moderated jointly by Dr Arne Klau, visiting WTO Fellow at the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide and Jason Collins, CEO of the EABC, the event attracted 50 attendees from a wide variety of services industry sectors as well as from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia.
Pascal Kerneis gave a highly informative detailed presentation on European business interests in the Australia/EU FTA against the background of recent global and regional negotiating hiccups and downfalls as well as opportunities for advancement. He addressed the potential impacts of Brexit, the US election result and forthcoming elections in Europe and what all this might mean for Australia’s trade and investment relations with the EU.
Ivano Casella, Counsellor (Economic Affairs) of the EU Delegation to Australia and New Zealand, explained the state of play with the scoping study underway and outlined EU expectations for progress to commencement of negotiations in early 2017.
As Australian and EU services trade negotiators left for Geneva for official level talks on how to “put on ice”, during the US election hiatus, the hoped for end-game on the plurilateral negotiations for a Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), Jane Drake-Brockman, Director of the EU Centre for Global Affairs and ASR Board member, gave a toast to European and Australian business collaboration and the very near success of TiSA, a feat that deserved both celebration and mourning. She observed that the positions that had been reached in the TTP by Australia and by the EU in CETA, combined with the joint progress achieved and hopefully preserved in TISA, pointed the way to valuable and timely business outcomes on services trade and investment in the Australia/EU FTA.
For further information the presentations are available HERE: