Asia House Brexit Series: Exclusive opportunity to hear from Australian Trade Minister
The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, will speak exclusively at Asia House on the outlook for UK trade relations with Australia in particular, and Asia in general following the Brexit vote earlier this year. He will also speak about Australia’s trade relations with the EU.
Mr Ciobo is on an official visit to Europe to meet his EU counterpart the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, as well as UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Brexit Minister David Davis to discuss future post-Brexit separate trade deals with both the EU and the UK.
Mr Ciobo told ABC at the weekend before his departure that during his UK trip he will open talks with the British Government about a separate post-Brexit free trade deal for the UK.
He also said: “We’ve got well-developed discussions underway with the European Union with a view to commencing free trade negotiations I hope in the first half of next year.”
He is travelling to London first to meet the two key Brexiters and will give his public speech at Asia House after that meeting. This will be his only public speaking engagement during his official visit to the UK.
Australia has a significant trade and investment relationship with the UK, as well as shared heritage, common values, and closely aligned strategic outlook and interests. Britain is Australia’s seventh largest trading partner and the second top source of foreign investment in Australia.
However, as a bloc the EU is Australia’s largest source of foreign investment and second largest trading partner. Formal negotiations for an EU-Australia FTA are expected to start in early 2017.
In his interview with ABC on Sunday Mr Ciobo was upbeat that Britain’s decision to withdraw from the EU had not affected the Australia-EU FTA. He said: “Truthfully, we’ve not seen any impact in terms of our discussion with the European Union,” he said.
In an interview with Bloomberg in August this year Mr Ciobo said that “Australia shares the aspirations to do something with the UK and what that looks like we will obviously have some conversations about. I am also looking at a scoping study with the EU on what a possible EU-Australia FTA would look like. I intend to pursue both with vigour. It will be good for the EU, the UK and Australia if we can achieve a successful outcome.”
As Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Mr Ciobo has commented on the potential impact of Brexit on wider trade deals in the Asia Pacific region, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Australia is seen as a key gateway for UK and EU investment into Asia due to its free trade agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, ASEAN and others.
Mr Ciobo was sworn in as the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment on 19 July 2016. This is Mr Ciobo’s third front bench role in the foreign affairs and trade portfolio.
He has previously served as the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, as well as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment. In these roles Mr Ciobo championed economic integration in the Pacific through private sector-led growth; promoted the benefits of Australia’s Free Trade Agreements; led delegations of industry leaders to Australia’s key trading partners; and supported the Minister for Foreign Affairs in advancing Australia’s diplomatic interests overseas.
To register to attend please contact: Conor Paterson, Business & Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 307 5439.