World Bulletin / News Desk
"The aim of the negotiations is to remove barriers to trade in goods and services, create opportunities for small and large companies, as well as setting ambitious rules in line with other trade agreements of the EU, contributing to shape global trade," the commission said.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo attended the launch.
Malmstrom said she looks forward to adding Australia to the EU's "ever-expanding circle of like-minded" trade partners.
"The result of our negotiations will be an agreement that offers clear benefits for both the EU and Australia. It will boost economic opportunity for businesses, both big and small, and create jobs," she added.
According to the commission, the EU is Australia's second biggest trade partner. Bilateral trade in goods between the EU and Australia has risen steadily in recent years, reaching almost €48 billion in 2017.