German Trade Agreements

Negotiations for a free trade agreement between the EU and several ASEAN countries (the association of Southeast Asian nations) are of economic importance to Germany. The ASEAN region is experiencing dynamic growth and there is great potential for economic cooperation with Europe. The EU is currently negotiating with some ASEAN members, while initial negotiations with the whole region have not yielded concrete results. Click here for an overview of existing EU free trade agreements. At the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, participating countries agreed to reduce export subsidies in the agricultural sector and strengthen rules on export credits, state-owned commercial enterprises and food aid. In addition, another “development package” has been adopted, which focuses on the least developed countries. In addition, participating countries agreed on preferential rules for origin and preferences for least developed countries in the services sector (abandonment of LDCs). These agreements aim to facilitate and improve the integration of these countries into the multilateral trading system. The EU is New Zealand`s second largest trading partner. In 2019, the volume of trade amounted to more than 9 billion euros. Agricultural products account for the largest share of New Zealand`s exports to the EU, while the EU mainly exports finished and industrial products to New Zealand. In 2019, Germany`s trade surplus with New Zealand amounted to 2.7 billion euros and EU companies accounted for more than 10 billion euros of foreign direct investment in New Zealand. In 2019, the volume of trade between the EU and Australia amounted to more than 53 billion euros, with a trade surplus of almost 18 billion euros for the EU.

EU exports to Australia are mainly manufactured goods, while Australia exports mineral resources and agricultural products to Europe in particular. EU companies provide around 20 billion euros in commercial services to Australia and invest around 160 billion euros in that country. As a result, the EU is Australia`s third largest trading partner. WTO members meet in Qatar to create a new multilateral group to liberalize world trade. Negotiations that began in 2001 are not yet complete. Nevertheless, governments sometimes find it difficult to reduce barriers to trade, as competition in their own markets has arised from the opening up of boarders. Overall, the macroeconomic impact of trade is generally positive. Many scientific studies show that trade liberalization and economic growth are positively correlated. More competition essentially means more supply, pressure on innovation and lower prices. However, trade can also have redistributive effects.