Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese discussed plans for a free-trade agreement with the EU with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi.
(Bloomberg) — Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese discussed plans for a free-trade agreement with the EU with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi.
“We spoke at the G20 about what support and steps are needed to finalise the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement,” Albanese posted on the social media platform X Saturday night. “President @EmmanuelMacron and I share a vision for a stable, open and prosperous Pacific region.”
Negotiations in July ended in deadlock, due to unresolved differences over Australian agricultural products. France raised concerns about the proposal at that time, which Australia said did not offer its producers enough market access.
Albanese told reporters at the summit that he had also spoken to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about an agreement.
“Ursula von der Leyen was quite positive, but we will wait and see the issues,” Albanese said on Saturday. “I would like to see the Australia EU Free Trade Agreement settled as soon as possible,” he said, noting that Scholz is also “a strong supporter.” He added that the government would only sign off on a deal that was in the national interest.
An EU-Australia deal has been under discussion since 2018, with both sides looking to diversify trade. EU supply chains have been disrupted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while Australian exports to China were hit by tariffs and blocks following a political dispute in 2020.
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