Strengthening relations with Germany

Media release
07 Jul 2017
Prime Minister
International and Trade

The Turnbull Government is working with Germany to drive new opportunities through the Hamburg G20 Summit.

Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and I are united in countering terrorism and radicalisation, and agreed to intensify cooperation to tackle this scourge, including through collaboration with industry. Australia and Germany are committed to defeating ISIL, including through coalition efforts in Iraq. We agreed to work together to address cyber threats and to balance protection of communications with public safety.     

Today we affirmed a shared commitment to an open, rules-based trading system; the Paris Climate Change Agreement; and women’s economic empowerment and workforce participation.

Chancellor Merkel and I discussed the excellent progress in building the relationship between Australia and Germany. In particular, we welcomed implementation of the recommendations of the Australia Germany Advisory Group to strengthen economic, strategic and cultural ties. These include the 2 +2 meetings between Foreign and Defence Ministers, the second of which Australia will host in 2018.

Bilateral cooperation is growing significantly in the areas of energy and innovation. The Industry 4.0 agreement signed at the Hannover Trade Fair in April will enhance cooperation in advanced manufacturing research, vocational education and training to equip employees for success in the digital economy. Australian and German research institutions will launch a jointly-funded Australia-Germany Energy Transition Research Hub to work together on challenges of developing sustainable clean energy for the future.

Young Australian entrepreneurs are already benefiting from the Berlin Landing Pad and the Berlin startup ecosystem. Australia is pleased to be the focus country for the Health Entrepreneurship Summit planned by the Charité Foundation in May 2018.

Our strong bilateral business ties will receive a boost from the Asia Pacific Business Conference, which will be held in Perth from 3-5 November 2017. The Conference, jointly organised by the Australian Government and the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, will enable business and investment leaders from Australia, Germany and the broader region to explore further commercial opportunities. 

It was fitting that my meeting with Chancellor Merkel was in Hamburg. The EU has recently announced the twinning of Melbourne and Hamburg as partner cities under the EU’s World Cities Project. The cities will share best practice and explore collaboration in sustainable urbanisation. Chancellor Merkel and I welcomed this initiative, which typifies the potential for cutting-edge cooperation between Australia and Germany.

I was pleased to convey to Chancellor Merkel our condolences on the death of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Chancellor Kohl was a global statesman, who dedicated his life to achieving German and European unity.