The SIA consists of two equally important and complementary components:

  • a robust analysis of the potential economic, social, human rights and environmental impact (both negative and positive) that the trade agreement under negotiation could have in Australia, the EU and in other relevant countries (notably the EU's outermost regions and least developed countries) - this section provides more details on these analysis; and
  • a continuous and wide-ranging consultation process to ensure a high degree of transparency and the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in the conduct of the SIA.

The economic impact analysis provided the starting point for the SIA, as many of the other effects are consequences of the agreement's economic effects. The economic impact analysis was not restricted to changes in Australia's and the EU's exports and imports but covered a vast range of economic factors.

Valapraiso, Chile. Photo by Loïc Mermilliod on Unsplash

The social analysis responds to the question of how a reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers due to the Trade Agreement, and the resulting changes in trade and investment flows between the EU and Australia may affect the situation on the labour market, job quality, welfare, rights of consumers, and public policies and services, such as social protection, education, and health-care in both Australia and the EU.

In the environmental impact assessment, we assess the most significant potential environmental impacts resulting from the FTA in both the EU and Australia. Although the analytical work carried out in the ex-ante study has shown that, overall, environmental impacts are likely to be limited both in Australia and the EU, selected environmental effects or effects in certain sectors still needed to be studied.

The impact of the free trade agreement may vary considerably across different actors, sectors, and issues. Therefore the general analysis of economic, social, human rights and environmental impacts was complemented by assessments of selected economic sectors and thematic case studies.

BKP Economic Advisors GmbH (BKP) is a Germany-based economic research and consulting firm owned and managed by its five partners. We focus on the preparation of economic and policy studies and provision of economic and policy-oriented consulting services to governments and institutions, particularly in developing and transition countries. International trade is one of our core areas of expertise.

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