Germany and Australia seek closer economic ties

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan have discussed closer economic collaboration at the second meeting of the German-Australian business committee.

“We want to jointly move our bilateral economic relations forward again,” said Altmaier in a statement. Cooperation in the future fields of hydrogen and Industry 4.0 would be particularly important.

Australia could become one of the largest hydrogen producers in the world and could also “supply Germany on its way to climate neutrality with green hydrogen,” the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) noted in the statement.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic had a dampening effect, trade volume between Germany and Australia developed positively in recent years, according to the BMWi. Bilateral trade in goods only slightly decreased to 11.38 billion euros (13.5 billion U.S. dollars) last year.

The German-Australian business committee was aiming to promote the exchange between Australian and German companies in order to open up new opportunities for cooperation, according to the BMWi.

In terms of trade policy, the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Australia was of “central importance,” said Altmaier. The agreement would make it easier for companies to engage in each other’s markets and facilitate cooperation.