FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – Join us for a Sweden Support Performance in Darling Harbour 2 August!

Women’s World Cup (FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™) – The world’s largest female sports event has kicked off in New Zealand! 

Swedes in Sydney are gathering for a supportive Sing-Along performance in Darling Harbour on 2 August!

The Swedish School in Sydney together with the Swedish Community in Sydney is in search of shower chanters, nightingales, Eurovision fans, Abba-enthusiasts and/or soccer fans to participate.

The Swedish Consulate received a request to participate in the FIFA Fan Festival™ in Sydney and has reached out to the Swedish School in Sydney for help in organising an event. Of course, the Swedish School in Sydney, with the support of the Swedish community in Sydney and the Swedish schools in Australia, wants to support the world’s largest female sports event!

We have been asked to perform (10 minutes) with something cultural, and our plan is to organise a ‘Sing-along in Darling Harbour’. The Vikings were reported howling while singing, one could easily say that this is in our genes. Therefore, the school and all Swedish associations in Sydney are now searching far and wide for all shower chanters, nightingales, Eurovision fans and Abba-enthusiast to participate in the ‘Sing-along in Darling Harbour’.  Practice “Dancing Queen” by ABBA to perfection. However, at the FIFA Fan Festival™, there will be big screens displaying the song lyrics, similar to a typical sing-along session at Skansen.

How much we will perform, is unclear. It depends a lot on how the Swedish team performs and how they progress. We have been asked to come and perform on August 2nd at 5:55 pm (assembly before 5 pm, when the game starts). If we behave ourselves and the Swedish national team performs well, we might be invited on August 6th and 20th, mark those dates in your calendar as well.

Please note: The Swedish School in Sydney has NOT been allocated any match tickets and participating parents are responsible for their child/children during the event.

When: 2 August at 5.55 pm (assembly at 5.00 pm before the game starts)

Where: Darling Harbour, more details to be advised

Register here!

Attire: Blue and Yellow and/or Eurovision Song Contest (Mello)

Thank you for supporting Sweden in the world’s largest female sports event!

The Swedish School in Sydney

Find out more about the world cup in Au and NZ here: Women’s World Cup (FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™)

EABC’s Business Mission to Europe 2023, 29-30 June in Stockholm, Sweden

“The best is yet to come in the strong trade relationship between Sweden and Australia.”, a positive message by Johan Forssell, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade at an event in conjunction with the European Australian Business Council’s (EABC) Business Mission to Europe 2023 on 29-30 June in Stockholm.

 

The Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce was delighted by the invitation to take part in the Stockholm program and was represented by SACC Board Directors Camilla Bullock and Carl Wallberg.

The 2 days included meetings, company visits and talks by impressive Swedish industry leaders and business icons such as Jacob Wallenberg, Marcus Wallenberg, Helene Hedblom, CEO at Epiroc and Anders Carp, CEO at Saab, all sharing insight to the commitment to the Australia-Sweden growing business and expanding bilateral relationships.

 

European Australian Business Council Business Mission to Europe 2023 Stockholm

Summary Day 1 – 29 June

“There is potential for so much more,” echoed from all the prominent speakers during the first day of the Swedish leg of the EABC trade mission.

Ambassador Bernard Philip, Austrade Briefing by Trade and Investment, did a great job describing the building blocks on which the more than 190-year-old trade relationship is built. It’s a relationship between like-minded countries that believe in open trade and long-term relationships built on trust.

Johan Forssell, Minister for Trade and International Development, started off his speech with some well-prepared notes but soon put down the prompt and spoke freely about current situations in Sweden and Europe, including the challenge of the ongoing Russia Crisis and the cost of living crisis. Mr Forssell highlighted how the EU has come together like never before, and other trading partners with shared values are also working closer together to build a strong and prosperous power through trade.

There were three themes that recurred throughout the day:

  1. The importance of R&D – “It’s not about staying relevant; it’s about being on the forefront”. Australia can learn from Sweden, which ranks at the top of R&D spending as a percentage of GDP at 4.7%, with the majority of the spending coming from the private sector.
  2. Sustainability and Green Technology – It’s in Sweden’s culture to think about sustainability. However, to achieve our climate and environmental goals, we need to reduce our environmental and climate footprints from the materials we use in our day-to-day lives and in industry. The most inspiring speaker of the day was Sara Mazur, Executive Director of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, who shared insights on how the foundation supports researchers with long-term (5+5 years) projects to invent for the future.
  3. Sweden’s unwavering commitment to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia was emphasized by several speakers, highlighting that momentum should not be lost when we are so close.

“If you are small, you have to be generous with your technology” was one of the comments from Anders Carp CEO of Saab talking about Saab’s substantial productions in Australia that can also be compared to Cochlear’s productions in Sweden.

Johan Forssell, without giving any more details shared that this month, the biggest contract in history in any sector was signed between Australia and Sweden making his parting words ring true:

“The best is yet to come in the strong trade relationship between Sweden and Australia.”

Summary Day 2 – 30 June

The second day of the conference began with a breakfast discussion on economic, trade, and industrial policies in Sweden. Dr. Anna Breman, First Deputy Governor of the Swedish Riksbank, provided insights into the Monetary Policy in June 2023. Key points highlighted during the discussion included a 0.25 percentage point increase in the policy rate to reach 3.75 percent, the forecast of further rate hikes, and the accelerated pace of government bond sales. The primary focus of Sweden’s monetary policy is to drive the Consumer Price Index with a Fixed Interest Rate (CPIF) back to 2% to reduce inflation and maintain price stability.

Dr. Breman emphasized the commitment of the Monetary Policy to take timely measures to curb inflation, considering the current state of the Swedish economy. The economy is experiencing a slowdown after the post-pandemic rebound, with weak domestic demand but strong export performance. The pace and intensity of future monetary policy tightening will be determined by future development and its impact on the economic outlook and inflation.

The morning session continued with a discussion of Swedish trade, with a particular focus on trade opportunities between Sweden and Australia. Henrik Isakson, Director for Trade Policy at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, expressed optimism about the strong trade relationship between the two countries. The discussion then shifted to the new political framework and how Sweden can leverage it in the context of the green transition. Key elements included subordinating trade policy to the Green Deal and broader sustainability agenda, addressing deforestation and forced labor, and promoting a circular economy.

The conference attendees visited KTH Royal Institute of Technology, where discussions revolved around Sweden’s green transition. Northvolt, a prominent company, shared insights on the topic of batteries and electrification. Scania Group also provided their opinion on how they are adapting to battery driven technology. Later, LKAB, the leading mining and minerals group, presented their efforts to form a completely new industry from mine waste, focusing on phosphorus for mineral fertilizers, rare earth elements for electric vehicles and wind turbines, and gypsum for construction.

SSAB, a steel company, discussed their plans to produce fossil-free steel and the potential for collaboration with Australia. Their transformation plan aims to save 4 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030 through the development of a fossil-free iron and steel making value chain using a hydrogen-based direct reduction process.

In the afternoon, Saab highlighted the importance of the strategic alliance with Australia, the value of having a Saab office in Australia, and the benefits of joining NATO for both countries. The day concluded at Ericsson, where insights were provided on how Ericsson has contributed to shaping Australia’s future in 5G technology. The role of mobile networks in enabling the mining industry with autonomous vehicles and enhancing safety was also discussed.

In conclusion, the conference served as a powerful platform to underscore the paramount importance of the trade relationship between Sweden and Australia. By showcasing the immense potential for future growth and cooperation, the event solidified the foundation for long-term collaboration in trade, green transition, and defence. The conference effectively highlighted the indispensable role of these sectors in fostering a mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries, setting the stage for a prosperous and sustainable future.

A big thank you to the European Australian Business Council (EABC), partners and industry representatives involved in the business mission.

Did you know that the Sydney Opera House tiles are from Höganäs

How the Sydney Opera House tiles stay white  

The self-cleaning tiles never get a scrub down by anything but the elements. Danish architect Jorn Utzon planned it that way, the spherical shape of the shells allowing for good drainage so that cleaning would not be necessary. He worked on the tiles, made from clay with a small percentage of crushed stone, for three years with Swedish company Höganäs.

In the early 1960s, more than 1 million “Sydney Tiles” were shipped from Höganäs in Sweden. Some 940,840 cover the building now and the remainder are in an off-site storage facility.

Read more about How the Sydney Opera House tiles stay white in this article from The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May 2023

The Brisbane Truck Show in May 2023 was a tremendous success and the best one so far for Volvo Group Australia (VGA)

Volvo Group Australia displayed six trucks at the stand, all powered by HVO or Electricity – showing their competitors that VGA is leading the transformation in sustainable transport.

To name some of the biggest events; Volvo Trucks sold their first Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks on the stand, Mack Trucks set a Guinness World Record with a life-size LEGO truck and UD Trucks celebrated 50 years in Australia – and all within four days. 

Greener Garden, Greener Future – Husqvarna Event at the Embassy of Sweden Canberra

On 17 May, Husqvarna, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Canberra, hosted “Greener Garden, Greener Future” with the presence of His Excellency Swedish Ambassador Pontus Melander and ACT Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti MLA. The event focused on collaboration as a key tool for delivering on sustainability efforts, bringing new initiatives to life and implementing immediate actions to tackle the climate crisis. Husqvarna Vice President Pacific Division, Pauline Nilsson, was also in attendance and emphasised the significance of sustainable technologies and their critical role in addressing the pressing challenge of surpassing the 1.5-degree global warming threshold.

 

The Husqvarna team with the Ambassador and Embassy staff.

 At the event, Ambassador Pontus Melander formally announced the Embassy’s switch from petrol-powered lawn care to the battery-powered Husqvarna Automower®, affectionately named ‘Husky’. The switch was motivated by a broader sustainability focus adopted by the Swedish Embassy, which acknowledges its responsibility of setting a positive example to the city through actions that promote biodiversity, greener practices, and climate neutrality,

 

At the event, Pauline Nilsson spoke about three global themes driving change and action:

  • Climate change, extreme weather, biodiversity decline, and global warming, serve as constant reminders of the climate crisis and Husqvarna’s responsibility to nature and the environment.
  • Changing urban environments in which, more than ever, well-maintained, high-quality green spaces will play a critical role in mitigating urban heat and the amplified effects of floods.
  • Evolving business environments are seeing a rapid rise in artificial intelligence and data being used to develop smarter products and solutions. These innovations can contribute to green space management and help achieve climate targets.

Pauline Nilsson addresses guests, including media and VIPs.

Husqvarna’s goal to be the world leader in the future of green space maintenance amid the face of the climate crisis. In her speech, Pauline explains, “Husqvarna is dedicated to a sustainable future, leading the industry with low-carbon, resource-smart solutions. We are prioritising efficient tool usage and powering them with alternatives to fossil fuels. Through pioneering solutions, we empower people to make sustainable choices daily.”

The event was attended by media, with two pieces published online, syndicated nationally with a total reach of over one million, along with a piece on local Canberra radio stations 2CC and 2CA.

Sandvik opened first 6 Star Green Star industrial facility in WA

Sandvik’s new warehouse in WA is the first industrial facility in the state to be declared 6 Star Green Star by the Green Building Council of Australia. 

Showcase Project

On 22 March Sandvik Australia officially opened its 6 star green star state-of-the-art warehouse and workshop in Perth WA. President and CEO of Sandvik, Stefan Widing and HE Pontus Melander Ambassador of Sweden to Australia joined the official opening celebrations.

Sandvik’s new warehouse at Roe Highway Logistics Park (ROE) in Western Australia is the first industrial facility in the state to be declared 6 Star Green Star by the Green Building Council of Australia. The 6 Star rating represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable building practices and the internationally recognised environmental rating aligns with Sandvik’s global commitment to using engineering and innovation to make the shift towards more sustainable business.

Sandvik’s investment in the new facility, including ensuring it’s a truly sustainable, signals its ongoing commitment to the Australian mining and construction equipment market.

Sustainability Impact

The sustainability innovations within the facility include the first use of low carbon concrete in a warehouse in Western Australia; 100kV solar generation with 67Kwh battery storage; a dual electric vehicle charging station; energy-efficient lighting; and a dedicated rainwater harvesting system.

Sandvik has committed to targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), consistent with the Paris Agreement, with a 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050. The company’s 2030 Sustainability Goals include Climate, Circularity, People and Fair Play as the areas it considers the most material and where it can make the most difference.

The move to a state-of-the-art warehouse has also enabled Sandvik to implement wide-ranging technological and operational improvements to further support its Australian customers and achieve its sustainability goals: consolidating storage; improving storage density with vertical storage machines; installing conveyors to reduce materials handling equipment (MHE), and an all battery MHE fleet that can be charged from the solar generation at the site.

Other features and benefits of the new warehouse/workshop:

  • 99kW solar PV system
  • 67kW battery
  • 100% GreenPower® contract
  • 100% electric facility
  • Low embodied carbon concrete throughout (achieved 49% Portland cement reduction)
  • 5kL rainwater harvesting tank for irrigation
  • Dual EV charger
  • Air cooled HVAC system with CO2 sensors
  • High efficiency lighting
  • High performance building fabric, double glazing and good shading
  • 45% reduction in Potable Water consumption
  • Low VOC paints and carpets
  • Translucent daylight strips throughout the warehouse and canopies
  • Native/drought resistant plants
  • Subsoil irrigation with moisture sensor to all areas except lawn
  • Light coloured roof
  • Ongoing metering and monitoring
  • Air tightness testing
  • Bicycles provided for staff use
  • 94% of construction waste diverted from landfill
  • Occupant Engagement Survey
  • Green Cleaning Policy
  • Groundskeeping Policy
  • Procurement & Purchasing Policy

Alignment with UN SDG’s

This Sandvik initiative contributes to the following SDG’s:

 

 SACC Sustainability Committee Contact: sacc@swedishchamber.com.au

Sweden Innovation Days – Now available Free On Demand

Sweden Innovation Days took place 21-23 March 2023

You can now watch all of Sweden Innovation Days Mainstage program and many of the Side Events on the event platform here: https://event.vvenues.com/sid2023/  

 

This digital event (free of charge) focused on how to enable innovation that has a real impact on our society, environment and economy. Despite Sweden being a climate front runner, we still have a responsibility to contribute to the Global Goals.

During the conference we presented how Swedish agencies and industry are paving the way for the Swedish innovation ecosystem to experiment and grow. Discover some great real life examples of how actors are successfully innovating and finally learn about the impact these innovations have had on our society.

The event is dedicated to fostering international collaboration, so whether you are a startup, intermediary or corporate, working in the public sector, civil society, academia or a government agency, there will be something for everyone.

About the event

Sweden Innovation Days’ primary goal is to provide an international platform to share best practices, knowledge and meet innovation partners from around the world. This year’s focus will be how we can enable innovation that has a positive environmental, economic and social impact. Sweden is a world leader within innovation but we need to continuously strive towards more innovative solutions, both theoretically and practically.

Sweden Innovation Days will feature a digital Mainstage program with key experts, case studies and interviews that go beyond the theoretical to explore the practical ways innovation can address today’s biggest sustainability challenges. Additionally, there will be a broad range of Side Events conducted by our fantastic conference partners to dive deeper into the important topics covered on the digital Mainstage across all three days.

The conference is a cooperation between Vinnova – Sweden’s Innovation Agency, the Swedish Energy Agency, Formas – a Swedish research council for sustainable development, SISP – Swedish Incubators and Science Parks, Ignite Sweden, AI Sweden and Business Sweden. This year Sweden Innovation Days will coincide with Sveriges Innovationsriksdag in Lund.

Sweden Innovation Days has previously taken place in 2022 and 2020. Last year’s event saw over 5000 registered participants joining from 97 different countries.

Daily focus

The goal of this conference is to inspire and exchange knowledge on how we can mobilise innovation projects that make a difference in an impactful way. The program will move beyond the theoretical and present practical methods as well as success cases highlighting how to achieve this. Each day will therefore focus on a different stage of the innovation process.

DAY 1 21 MARCH
Paving the way for innovation

Exploring how government agencies can foster greater innovation at all levels.

DAY 2 22 MARCH

Enabling innovation – The Swedish way

Highlighting how Sweden is working towards a more sustainable future.

DAY 3 23 MARCH

Creating real impact

Measuring how innovation is creating an impact and seeing real results.

You can now watch the entire program for free On Demand until April 11 here:

https://event.vvenues.com/sid2023/register

SACC Sustainability Committee Update

The Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Committee is pleased to announce that we welcomed a new Chair at the first meeting of the year in February, Flavia Vaz, Head of Public Affairs and Government Relations at Tetra Pak. We are also pleased and thankful that our previous Chair Carin Varverud Härdin, Vice President of Marketing Communications at Volvo Group Australia (VGA) will stay on the committee representing VGA. A big thank you to Carin for driving the committee and activities since 2021.

We are also happy to welcome SACC corporate member Scania Australia to the committee, represented by Hanna Johansson, Director Business Support at Scania Australia. Furthermore, we would like to thank Mellisa Hamilton, who recently left the committee due to her move with IKEA to the Netherlands. IKEA is now represented by Peter Richmond Sustainability Business Partner at IKEA Australia.

On 20 February 2023, we hosted a very successful and appreciated joint Swedish Chambers APAC Sustainability Committee online meeting. APAC committee representatives presented and discussed how they work in each area, successful projects, and potential joint collaboration. The participating chambers were:

  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Hongkong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Korea
  • Philippines
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam

A few summary points from the meeting:

  • Focus on one topic across the region that we can stand behind, find synergies our countries are lacking and work on those issues jointly.
  • Share communication content and solutions to save cost and efficiency.
  • Share ways of collaboration, how we work with the Embassy of Sweden and Business Sweden. Some chambers have developed the Team Sweden collaboration more than others. Chambers provide the platform or stage for members and Team Sweden partners. Chambers are more connected to the business community network and support the growth here, the Embassy the government connection.

Upcoming Sustainability Committee Events

Virtual events:

4 April    Hydrogen – What is hydrogen? Why hydrogen? How is it produced and applications available today 

8 June  Circularity – Dr Nicole T Garofano, Planet Ark 

Events in person:

Mid June  Sustainability Food and Beverage Roundtable in Melbourne

Find out more about the Committee here

 

For further information, contact:  

Flavia Vaz, SACC Sustainability Committee Chair and Head of Public Affairs and Government Relations at Tetra Pak

Email: flavia.vaz@tetrapak.com

Camilla Jennings, General Manager Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce

Email: camilla@swedishchamber.com.au

Sandvik Australia officially opened its new state-of-the-art 6 Star Green Star warehouse and workshop in Perth WA

On 22 March Sandvik Australia officially opened its 6 star green star state-of-the-art warehouse and workshop in Perth WA. President and CEO of Sandvik, Stefan Widing and HE Pontus Melander Ambassador of Sweden to Australia joined the official opening celebrations.

The new sites are committed to supporting customers future growth in Western Australia. The sites are significantly larger than the previous facilities and feature the latest technology and will help customers meet their sustainability goals. As part of the official opening, Sandvik showcased their latest GET and PPH bucket as well as smart solutions in development that will improve productivity, safety and TCO for their customers.

The opening celebration was attended by local customers, industry representatives, media, and Sandvik staff and included presentations, facility tours and networking with our latest technology on display.

 

Sandvik’s new warehouse at Roe Highway Logistics Park (ROE) in Western Australia is the first industrial facility in the state to be declared 6 Star Green Star by the Green Building Council of Australia.

 The 6 Star rating represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable building practices and the internationally recognised environmental rating aligns with Sandvik’s global commitment to using engineering and innovation to make the shift towards more sustainable business.

A 6-star rating is reserved for highly efficient buildings that meet strict environmental and social issues while contributing to the community.

Sandvik’s investment in the new facility, including ensuring it’s a truly sustainable, signals its ongoing commitment to the Australian mining and construction equipment market. It comprises a 10,500 sqm warehouse, 500 sqm two-level office, and a 220 sqm dock office with 3,615 sqm super awning. ROE is a strategically located 72-hectare industrial park delivered by leading WA developer Hesperia, with Sandvik’s Lot 53 warehouse built by Q Design and Construct.

The sustainability innovations within the facility include the first use of low carbon concrete in a warehouse in Western Australia; 100kV solar generation with 67Kwh battery storage; a dual electric vehicle charging station; energy-efficient lighting; and a dedicated rainwater harvesting system.

Wayne Scrivens, Vice President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, Sales Area Australia & New Zealand said: “integrating sustainability into our business model and ways of working creates value for all our stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, as well as the broader community.”

“We take a holistic approach by including the entire value chain into our sustainability agenda. Our main contribution to sustainability is through our products and we work together with our customers and suppliers for more productive, safer and more sustainable solutions.

Sandvik has committed to targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), consistent with the Paris Agreement, with a 50 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050. The company’s 2030 Sustainability Goals include Climate, Circularity, People and Fair Play as the areas it considers the most material and where it can make the most difference.

The move to a state-of-the-art warehouse has also enabled Sandvik to implement wide-ranging technological and operational improvements to further support its Australian customers and achieve its sustainability goals: consolidating storage; improving storage density with vertical storage machines; installing conveyors to reduce materials handling equipment (MHE), and an all battery MHE fleet that can be charged from the solar generation at the site.

Niels Reuvers, Logistics Operations Manager – Australia, said: “locating the new warehouse with its improved operations alongside our new workshop will increase internal synergies, alignment and cross-functional collaboration – providing the best support to all of our Australian customers.”

“Our additional capacity in Western Australia will enable us to support the growing demand for around the clock service, qualified engineers and genuine parts on demand.”

Sandvik is among a range of like-minded companies with a focus on sustainable business that have located their operations at ROE because of its environmental goals, including carbon neutrality by 2022. The ROE project is committed to delivering 40kW of solar per facility, utilising low carbon building materials, best practice wastewater management, and the strategic conservation of a Red Tailed Black Forest Cockatoo habitat.

ROE has received national recognition for its industry leading sustainability initiatives, most recently the 2022 Environment Excellence Award from the UDIA.

For enquiries, please contact:

Kate Bills
General Manager – Sustainability, Marketing and Communications
Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions
email:
kate.bills@sandvik.com

World leading 6 Star Green Star Rating for Sandvik’s state-of-the-art warehouse — Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology

www.rocktechnology.sandvik

EU-Australia FTA Update March 2023

EU-Australia FTA Update

Since the 13th round of negotiations in October 2022, the political stars have aligned with both the EU and Australia have committed to sealing a deal by July 2023, treating it as a top political priority.

Australia’s Minister for Trade, Don Farrell has publicly acknowledged Australia’s intention to finalise a deal by the first half of 2023 and six Australian Ministers visited Brussels and different EU capitals in January 2023, showcasing Australia’s commitment to a deal.

A few days before the start of the 14th round of negotiations, on 1 February 2023, the European Commission released its Green Deal Industrial Plan, which sets an ambitious trade agenda to ensure the bloc does not lose ground in the net-zero tech race – a response, to the US’s Inflation Reduction Act and China’s cleantech dominance. The Plan unveiled the European Commission’s objective to extend the EU’s FTA network and in particular to conclude a deal with Australia by the 2023 European summer.

In this very favourable context, the 14th round of negotiations was held in Canberra between 6 and 10 February 2023, the first time the EU negotiating team could physically travel to Australia since the 6th round of talks in February 2020.

Though the round did not lead to the conclusion of many additional chapters, and a lot of work remains to be done before a deal can be signed, significant progress has been made across the FTA, including:

  • The (sub-)chapters on maritime services, telecommunication services, and on competition were provisionally concluded during the round.
  • The revised offers on services and investment, as well as on goods (tariff) and government procurement, which had been exchanged in the course of 2022, were further discussed. For public procurement, both sides explored options for a final market access package and discussed potential exceptions for SMEs. Sensitive products (e.g. market access for other key agricultural products) were not discussed. Such discussions will be kept for the end game of the negotiations.
  • Progress has been made for sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and both parties considered introducing a dispute settlement mechanism. Negotiators reached an agreement on the objectives of the dispute settlement and mediation chapter, which include transparent, efficient, and effective dispute settlement procedures.
  • In the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter, good headway was made. It was the first-time negotiators were able to discuss the EU’s revised offer, made in October 2022, which reflects the recent recalibration of the EU’s trade policy to enhance the contribution of the bloc’s trade agreements in protecting the climate, environment, and labour rights worldwide, notably through the enforceability of mutual binding commitments such as the Paris Agreement.

During the 14th round, negotiators discussed the outstanding elements in the TSD chapter including the labour provisions and the EU’s proposals on dispute settlement. Of note, the negotiators agreed on provisions on trade and sustainable forest management and climate change. As important work remains to be done, several follow up actions were agreed.

The TSD chapter is politically important for the EU as the European Parliament, which will be required to ratify the deal, expects ambitious sustainability commitments in all future EU FTAs. Heralded in the EU as the “gold standard” for future FTAs, the EU-New Zealand FTA concluded in June 2022 is the first EU FTA to include enforceability of TSD commitments.

  • For energy and raw materials, good progress was made at the technical level on several issues including an agreement on authorisation procedures, environmental impact assessments, offshore risk and safety and renewable fuels. Parties are looking to pathways forward to iron out energy regulatory provisions as well as energy and resources pricing issues.
  • Though some provisions of the general rules of origin have been agreed upon, further work is required to close key outstanding points. It is similar for technical barriers to trade. Provisions on international standards, transparency and market surveillance were closed, and further text was agreed on the motor vehicle annex. However, it is understood there remains an important volume of outstanding articles and annexes.
  • No key progress on the digital trade chapter. At this stage, it is unlikely that Australia’s consideration of introducing European-style rights (such as the right to be forgotten) as it currently reviews its privacy rules, will impact favourably the negotiations.
  • Finally, discussions continue to advance positively on specific language for First Australian Nations People, on subsidies and on state owned enterprises. Several longstanding issues across the Intellectual Property Chapter, including on copyright, trademarks and border measures have been resolved.
  • Discussions on geographical indications (GIs) focused on the relationship between GIs and trademarks and respective interests on key GI terms. The Australian Government has not agreed to any GI terms and will only agree at the FTA conclusion if the overall package is good enough.

The official report from the EU is available here and the report from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is available here.

Next steps:

  • With the political momentum at its peak and a fast-approaching ambitious deadline, the negotiating teams are under strong pressure to clear voluminous work before the table for political discussions can be set to reach a deal with beef market access high on the menu.
  • A 15th round of negotiations is planned for April 2023 in Brussels. It is hoped to be the final full round, to be followed by a 5×5 round of senior negotiators and finally political negotiations to iron out the most sensitive issues. To ensure both sides continue steady progress in the lead-up to the next round, a high number of follow-up actions have been agreed on, including the convening of inter-sessional discussions in the coming weeks.