An energy partnership between Western Australia and the European Union (EU) has the potential to increase investment and job creation in both regions and help lift Europe's energy security.
Addressing the European Australian Business Council today ahead of this week's Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference (AOG), Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion and Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said strong existing links provided a perfect springboard for more collaboration.
"European investment is already almost one trillion dollars, or more than one-third of total foreign investment in Australia," Mr Marmion said.
"That is greater than the United States of America or Japan, and nearly 15 times larger than China's $64.5 billion. Also, with the establishment of the EU Energy Union early last year, there are increasing opportunities for Western Australian energy exports and expertise in Europe."
Mr Mischin said it was important to capitalise on the State's growth as a global energy and technology hub.
"The massive European investment in Western Australian LNG projects underscores the potential," he said.
"This week, AOG will host 12 companies from Italy, 11 from the United Kingdom, two from Belgium and one each from Germany, Denmark and Ireland.
"It is also timely, with the Australian Government starting preliminary negotiations with the EU for a potential Free Trade Agreement."
Mr Marmion said WA offered investors stability, sensible regulation, strong environmental safeguards, world-class infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce. The State's prodigious mix of energy sources, including uranium projects in the pipeline, could help power Europe.
"There are exciting synergies, like our wealth of rare earth elements essential for emerging technologies, such as super capacitors, and lithium which is now powering fast charging electric cars," he said.
"Speaking on behalf of the Government of Western Australia, we look forward to an energy partnership between WA and the EU that is strengthened by removing trade barriers, expanding investment ties and strengthening regulatory co-operation."
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6800
Commerce Minister's office - 6552 5600