The European Australian Business Council (EABC) is one of the premier and most effective corporate forums in Australia. The EABC enables business leaders to engage in high-level dialogue on economic and public policy issues with Australian and European political leaders, senior officials, diplomats and business delegations.
The European Union is Australia’s second largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment. It is the world’s largest single market with a population of more than 500 million people. in 2015, EU Foreign direct investment in Australia totalled $157.6 billion – approximately 21.4% of total foreign direct investment.
Since the EABC’s establishment more than ten years ago, our Members have contributed greatly towards forging stronger business and institutional links between the European Union and Australia, working in close partnership with the official agencies of the European Commission and the Australian Government, and other peak business organisations.
EABC 2016 Business Mission to Europe
The EABC Australian Business Mission to Europe is undertaken each year as an initiative to strengthen bilateral relationships with European leaders, institutions, officials, peak business groups and policy organisations.
The Missions travel to Brussels as the political and administrative capital of the European Union, and to other political and commercial capitals in Europe. In 2016, EABC Members travelled to Zurich, Bern, Brussels and Helsinki.
The Mission delegation included twenty-four Australian business representatives, including Chairmen and CEOs of major companies with significant investments and operations in Europe.
The composition of the delegation included a broad range of sectors including construction, energy, engineering, logistics, mining and resources, education, law, retail, fashion, telecommunications, investment and banking, tourism, professional services, biotechnology, and finance.
The programme was arranged by the Council in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade, and the Australian Missions and Austrade offices in Europe, and their counterparts from Europe based in Canberra and Sydney.
The focus of the 2016 mission was to examine the political and institutional responses to the European economic crisis, and the performance of economic recovery and growth strategies, progress and support for major trade negotiations, and early reactions to the Brexit referendum in the UK.
EABC 2015 Business Mission to Europe
The 2015 EABC Business Mission to Europe, was delighted to have the leadership and participation of Australian Finance Minister, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, to Brussels, Munich and Milan.
The Mission delegation included twenty-five Australian business representatives, including Chairmen and CEOs of major companies with significant investments and operations in Europe.
The composition of the delegation included a broad range of sectors including construction, energy, logistics, mining and resources, education, law, retail, telecommunications, investment and banking, tourism, professional services, biotechnology, finance, and fashion.
The delegation also included Bruce Gosper, Chief Executive of Austrade; Jane Halton AO PSM, Secretary of the Department of Finance; Simon Atkinson, Chief of Staff to Minister Cormann; and Angus Armour, Deputy Secretary, NSW Trade and Investment.
The missions serve to profile the importance of Europe to Australia’s economy and the influence of European policy and institutions in global affairs. The programme provides prominent Australian business leaders, who are active in domestic policy circles, with insights into the drivers of European integration, often misreported or misrepresented in news reports and commentary. The missions have also been invaluable in forging relationships and ongoing contact between the Council and peak business and policy groups.
EABC missions are actively supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade, and Ambassadors to countries visited during the programme. The Delegation of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand and Embassies of European Member States also provide active support and endorsement of the missions.
In Brussels, Munich and Milan the delegation met with elected leaders, senior officials and business leaders. The focus of the mission was to examine the political and institutional responses to the European economic crisis, and their performance in stimulating economic recovery and growth.
EABC 2014 Business Mission to Europe
The 2014 EABC Business Mission to Europe was led by Australian Trade and Investment Minister, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP. The delegation consisted of twenty-eight Australian business representatives who travelled to London, Brussels, Warsaw and Madrid.
In London, Brussels, Warsaw and Madrid, the delegation met with elected leaders, senior officials and business leaders. The focus of the mission was to examine economic recovery in the eurozone and European Union as a whole, major policy and institutional changes that have occurred to economic governance, and the results of the May 2014 European Parliamentary elections.
The mission also focused on Europe’s strategic, trade and energy issues with major partners including the US (with whom it is currently negotiating an FTA), Russia (principally on energy issues), China (recently concluded an investment agreement), and Japan (also with an FTA under negotiation), and opportunities to promote a comprehensive FTA between Australia and the European Union.
The visits to London, Warsaw and Madrid also focused on ways to further bilateral trade and investment opportunities. Meetings with peak business and employer groups, chambers of commerce, industry associations, and with trade and investment promotion agencies – including a high-level investment and infrastructure forum in Madrid.
EABC 2013 Business Mission to Europe
Thursday, 20 June 13
The 2013 EABC Business Mission to Europe was led by HE Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor-General of Australia. The EABC was honoured that the Governor-General was the Head of its Delegation which visited France, Belgium, Slovakia and Austria from 2 -7 June 2013. This is the first occasion that an Australian Governor-General has led an economic mission overseas. The mission examined political and economic developments in Europe and the increasing influence that the institutions of the European Union hold in European and global affairs. The policy areas covered included financial markets, trade, energy, resources, climate change, infrastructure, innovation and many other areas of commercial interest.
Discussions also focused on Europe’s relationship with its major political and economic partners including China, Russia, and the US; European perspectives on the Asia-Pacific region, and co-operation between Australia and Europe in international institutions and forums such as the G20, NATO and the UN. The missions also provide a valuable opportunity for Australian business leaders to work with Australian Government representatives in Europe – principally with Australian Embassies and Missions and Austrade offices – to promote Australia’s economic credentials and capabilities, opportunities for European investment in Australia, and meeting with major European companies active in the Australian market.
The 2013 economic mission also marked the launch in Brussels of the inaugural Australian-European Leadership Dialogue.
EABC – Building Brand Australia – Australia Unlimited
“EABC is delighted to partner with Austrade to promote the Australia Unlimited campaign in key markets in Europe. Australia is well-recognised for the quality of its lifestyle, friendly people and can-do attitude. What’s less known is the strength of a growing, diverse and technologically-advanced economy strategically located in Asia. European companies and investors are seeing these opportunities and the Building Brand Australia campaign is a fantastic way to bring all of these elements together with a powerful and compelling message about what makes up Australia’s success, and where we are headed.”
– Jason Collins, CEO,
European Australian Business Council
During the June 2012 Business Mission, EABC members Alastair Walton, Nick Greiner and Hugh Morgan gave presentations to business audiences organised by Austrade in Frankfurt and The Hague, on opportunities in the financial services, investment, infrastructure and resources sectors in Australia as part of the Australia Unlimited outreach campaign.