Bilateral Trade and Investment


The EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment. In 2016 two-way merchandise trade was valued at $67.9 billion and two-way services trade was worth $31.5 billion. In 2016 Australia exported over $30 billion worth of goods and services to the EU. Australia’s major merchandise exports to the EU include, coal, gold, oil seeds, alcoholic beverages (primarily wine), ores and concentrates, and lead. The major merchandise imports from the EU include passenger motor vehicles, medicaments (incl. veterinary), pharmaceutical products and goods vehicles.

Australia’s major services export to the EU in 2016 was personal travel services (mainly recreational travel) – worth $5 billion. Personal travel services were also the largest single services import from the EU during the same period with a value of $8.3 billion. Education is Australia’s second largest services export to the EU.

In 2016, the EU’s foreign direct investment in Australia totaled $164.8 billion. The EU accounted for $104.9 billion of outwards Australian direct investment as at 2016. The total two-way investment relationship reached $1.7 trillion in 2016, with over $1 trillion of European investment in Australia, making the EU the largest investor in Australia.

According to the European Commission’s Impact Assessment, a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the EU would lead to gains in real GDP for both parties, with a growth of 0.20% for Australia (€4.2 billion) and of 0.02% for the EU (€4.9 billion). European exports to Australia would increase by 33.3%, while Australian exports to the EU would increase by 11.1%.

For information on export opportunities, see the Austrade country profiles for the various member states.

Source: DFAT website

Source Infographic: DFAT (2015)