Yahoo | 3 November 2017
Canada a blueprint for EU-Aust trade
by Lisa Martin
(AAP) Negotiators nutting out an Australia-European Union trade deal are likely to look for inspiration in the bloc’s deal with Canada.
Talks for a trade deal between Australia and the European Union are set to start before the end of the year.
The European Parliament has agreed to a negotiating mandate for the deal.
A delegation of five European Parliament MPs from Germany, Finland, Austria, Britain and Poland visited Australia this week on a fact-finding mission.
EU international trade committee chair Bernd Lange said the EU’s agreement with Canada could be a "blueprint".
"Yes, I think we are not starting from zero," he told AAP.
"A lot of elements could be used for the start of the negotiations."
The Canada-EU deal eliminates more than 90 per cent of trade barriers.
Europe is Australia’s third largest trading partner - with two-way trade worth more than $68 billion in 2015 - yet Australia is one of only six World Trade Organisation members that has no preferential access to the EU market.
Mr Lange said EU businesses were keen to access to bid for Australian government procurement contracts.