Australia and the European Union (EU) have strong historical and cultural ties. The two have solid relations and increasingly see eye-to-eye on international issues. The EU-Australian relations are founded on a Partnership Framework, first agreed in 2008. It covers not just economic relations, but broader political issues and cooperation.
The Australian Government maintains a delegation to the EU at its embassy in Brussels. A Delegation of the European Union is located in Canberra.
Monthly value of Australian merchandise exports to the European Union (A$ millions) since 1988
Monthly value of EU merchandise exports to Australia (A$ millions) since 1988
The EU is Australia's second largest trading partner, after China, and Australia is the EU's 17th. Australia's exports is dominated by mineral and agricultural goods. However 37% of trade is in commercial services, especially transportation and travel. EU corporations have a strong presence in Australia (approximately 2360) with an estimated turnover of €200 bn (just over 14% of total sales in Australia). These companies directly created 500,000 jobs in Australia. The EU is Australia's second largest destination of overseas investment and the EU is by far Australia's largest source of foreign investment €2.8 billion in 2009 (€11.6 billion in 2008). Trade was growing but ebbed in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.