The conclusion of an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom, Australia’s fifth largest merchandise trading partner and second largest source of foreign investment in terms of total stock, will create more opportunities for business-led growth.
Modern investment rules under the AU-UK FTA will encourage further investment between both countries, while clear dispute settlement processes and commitments to enhance digital trade and address non-tariff barriers will be good for Australian mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) businesses.
Australia’s minerals industry and the UK’s industrial sector already have strong partnerships based on a highly developed two-way trade and investment relationship.
In 2020 the UK was the second largest source of total foreign investment in Australia, with the stock of investment valued at more than AUD $778 billion at the end of 2020. Australia’s two largest mining companies also have direct presences in the UK.
Key minerals exports from Australia to the UK in 2019-20 included gold ($12.7 billion), lead ($468 million) and coal ($214 million).
The ability to innovate, quickly adopt and adapt technologies keeps Australian mining efficient and internationally competitive, and the AU-UK FTA’s digital trade and intellectual property provisions, which will boost innovation and drive further economic growth through technology-led productivity gains.
The Australian minerals industry is a reliable supplier of minerals, metals and energy commodities and a global leader in sustainability performance, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through water and land stewardship and community partnerships.
The AU-UK FTA will help establish reliable and responsible supply chains for new technology materials such as lithium, providing mineral and metal inputs to support advanced manufacturing, highly skilled jobs, and the global clean energy transition.
It will also pave the way for a significant boost to investment and co-operation in technology development, research and innovation.
The high standards and best practices in the AU-UK FTA will also pave the way for the United Kingdom to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, driving further economic growth and more jobs for Australians.