With further tariff cuts on exports to Japan coming into effect on 1 April, Senator for Victoria the Hon. Mitch Fifield is urging all businesses in Melbourne’s South East to ensure they’re taking full advantage of the opportunities created by Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Asia.
Senator Fifield said while some businesses are aware of the benefits offered by the Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Japan and China, many are uncertain about what it means for their bottom line.
“The Free Trade Agreements with Asia are still relatively new, so understandably the benefits are not yet widely understood,” Senator Fifield said.
“The government recognises there’s a desire in the community to learn more about the agreements, and is in the process of rolling out a series of seminars around the country to explain the FTAs, and help businesses large and small discover how they can capitalise on the opportunities they create.”
Senator Fifield said the government is also developing an online portal which will include information such as a tariff finder that existing and potential exporters can use, to make informed decisions about trading internationally.
“In the meantime, I encourage business owners who want to know more about how they can take advantage of the Free Trade Agreements, to contact my office for more information.”
Senator Fifield said the agreements with Asia account for over 62 per cent of Australia’s export market and 19 per cent of our services trade, opening up many doors for businesses.
“Under the trade agreement with Japan for example, many tariffs were either eliminated or reduced when the agreement came into effect in January, and this second round of scheduled cuts further enhances the competitiveness of Australian exporters in that market,” Senator Fifield said.
“More than 97 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to Japan will receive preferential access, or enter duty-free, once the agreement is fully implemented.
“This is great news for existing and potential exporters in the local area in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, food production and services.”
Media contact: Tamsin Lawrence I 0408 586 151 I (03) 9584 2455