In late December, the ECA's Head of Product and Skills Development, Collins Rex, participated in a roundtable with the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Didier Reynders, the AMbassador of Belgium to Australia, H.E. Mr. Jean-Luc Bodson, and a number of Australian-based Belgian businesses.
The discussion, hosted by BNP Paribas, centred around free trade agreements (FTAs) and the need for an Australian/ European Union FTA.
Collins presented the work the ECA has done in the FTA education space, including - amongst other things - our website, www.ftatool.com.au, the various research undertaken by the ECA, and our work with the Australia China Business Council to educate SMEs on the utilisation of ChAFTA.
Collins also previewed the soon-to-be-released ANZ website, "ANZ Be Trade Ready", for which the ECA developed content around markets and FTAs, including a comparison between Australia's FTAs with various markets and those markets' FTAs with other nations. This site is slated for release in March 2017.
A robust discussion followed, with all in agreement: An Australia/ EU FTA will both stimulate and facilitate business.