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Trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand will promote economic growth based on values and rules

Date

25 Feb 2016

Sections

Euro & Finance
Global Europe

Today the S&D Group in the European Parliament backed the opening of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union, Australia and New Zealand. This 'high-quality' trade deal will open new markets and create new jobs, while strengthening the values shared by the three partners.

S&D spokesperson on trade, David Martin MEP, said:

"The Asia-Pacific region, where 90% of world growth is estimated to happen over the next decade, is vital for us. With their European heritage, their relative proximity to the Asian market and their membership of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), Australia and New Zealand can be very important partners for us.

"Given Australia's experience, particularly with investment, I think they should prove very sympathetic to tackling the flaws in the existing investor-state dispute system and that gives us an opportunity to have a high-quality investment chapter in this agreement."

The S&D MEP responsible for the resolution adopted today, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, added:

"In this resolution we achieved to anchor not only the call for a robust and ambitious sustainable development chapter, but also the establishment of a joint civil society forum that monitors the implementation and how the parties respect their obligations on human rights, labour standards and environmental protection.
 
"Even if Australia and New Zealand are like minded partners, we still have to be cautious regarding the most sensitive sectors, such as agriculture and public services."

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