Europe is an established market comprising 28 member states.

The weakened Australian dollar has improved competitiveness of Queensland exports and attractiveness of inward investment.

There are many opportunities in Europe to leverage the Advance Queensland initiative given the strong technology hubs in London, Dublin and Berlin.

Economy

The European Union (EU) represents the largest global economy with US$16.47 trillion GDP in 2016.

Trade

With a population of more than 500 million, the EU accounts for 20% of all global imports and exports.

Australia’s services exports to the EU grew by 20.3% from $8.5bn in 2010-2011 to $10bn in 2014-15 with significant increases in the telecom, computer and information services sector over the same period.

Investment

The EU is Australia’s second largest trading partner and continues as the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2015, the EU’s foreign direct investment in Australia totaled $157.6 billion – 21.4 per cent of Australia’s total inwards FDI.

Despite the 52% majority decision to leave the EU announced in June 2016, the UK is:

  • the second largest source of inbound FDI to Australia
  • and is ranked the fifth largest global economy alongside Germany (fourth) and France (sixth) by 2016 GDP.

Implications of Brexit

Brexit explained

Following the referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union, The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has released a paper that discusses the leave and remain campaigns, implications for business and the economy, political fallout and implications for Australia. Read CEDA’s Brexit Explained →

Brexit: Impact for Australian companies and what next for the pound

View the Export Council of Australia’s hour long webinar about the impact of Brexit

Wind turbines in Galicia, Spain

Europe & UK opportunities

CurrentMid termLong term

Current

  • Processed food
  • Infrastructure, transport and logistics
  • Coal and LNG
  • Education and training
  • METS, mining and advanced manufacturing
  • Technologies and financial services

Mid term

  • Security and defence
  • Innovative technology
  • Scientific research and development collaboration
  • Tourism investment
  • Agribusiness

Long term

  • Renewable energy
  • Innovative technology
  • Shale oil and gas

Sector opportunities in Europe and UK

Energy and resources

The UK, and Western and Northern Europe, are home to major international mining, oil and gas companies.

Exports from this sector represent more than 50% of the nominal value of all Queensland merchandise exports to Europe.

Queensland LNG exports continue to emerge as an interim source of cleaner carbon fuel while the Eastern Europe mining sector offers significant opportunities for Queensland METS companies.

Investment/financial services

The EU is one of the world’s largest markets for fund management and is a leading centre for foreign currency exchange, world trade finance, and hedge fund, sovereign wealth, private equity and pension funds management.

There are significant opportunities for Queensland project proponents seeking capital raising in infrastructure, agribusiness, resources and technology.

Opportunities exist for innovative technology providers to enter Europe via London, which is merging as a global leader in Fintech.

Food and agribusiness

Opportunities exist in fresh produce, meat and processed foods. Investment interest and awareness has increased via leading international forums such as the Global Ag Investing Europe (GAIE) conference and successful investments in significant Queensland projects.

The recently published Australian Tax Office farmland register shows 13.6% of Australia’s farmland is foreign-owned with UK-based investors owning the largest proportion with the greatest portion of foreign-owned agricultural land being in Queensland.