Department of State Development

South Australia and Europe relationship

Europe is a significant source of foreign direct investment into Australia, with the European Union the world’s largest trading entity and economy.

In 2012, Australia and the European Union celebrated 50 years of formal diplomatic relations. Australia’s major merchandise exports to the European Union include coal, oil, seeds, alcoholic beverages (primarily wine), ores and concentrates, lead and gold.

The major merchandise imports from the European Union include passenger motor vehicles, medicaments and pharmaceutical products.

The European Union is an important destination for South Australian goods and services, accounting for 9.5 per cent of the state’s exports, worth nearly $1.2 billion a year.

European market

The countries of Europe represent amongst the most sophisticated economies in the world and the European Union ranks fourth for South Australian exports.

Eleven of the top 20 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index are filled by countries from Europe, with longstanding historical ties and common cultural heritages giving credibility, high levels of awareness and trust, which can work in South Australia’s favour in growing commercial relationships.

South Australia’s proximity to and increasing familiarity with the Asia-Pacific market provides an opportunity for the state to strengthen the value of its existing European partnerships, acting as a hub between these markets.

Europe Strategy

South Australia – Europe Engagement Strategy

Europe is a significant partner for South Australia, a major source of foreign direct investment, a substantial market for exports and is recognised for its technological leaders who value new products, ideas and approaches.

The new South Australia-Europe Engagement Strategy advances a ‘whole-of-government’ suite of activities and resources to create business opportunities that deliver jobs, investment and growth for South Australia.

The state’s initial focus will be on the countries of France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, along with Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Factors considered in this prioritisation include current links between South Australia and the markets concerned; complementarity of economies, sectors of strength for South Australia and R&D strengths in the proposed markets.

Key actions of the strategy include:

  • Taking full advantage of defence contracts – incorporating the $89 billion Future Naval Shipbuilding Program
  • Attracting Foreign Direct Investment
  • Increasing exports
  • Increasing research and development activity

Download the strategy

South Australia - Europe Engagement Strategy
Download PDF | 3.61 MB


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