Grand opening of Malaysia for Australian exporters
Australia has welcomed the official implementation of its seventh free trade agreement with Malaysia.
The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) officially came into force on 1 January 2013. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) believes MAFTA will open up new opportunities, provide greater flexibility and improve access to the Malaysian market for Australian businesses, investors and suppliers.
Australia’s Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy, Craig Emerson, and Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, signed MAFTA in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012.
Malaysia is currently Australia’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN and overall its 10th largest trading partner. In 2011-12, the goods and services trade between the two countries was worth $17.2 billion.
Emerson said this agreement would further integrate the Australian economy into Asia’s fast growing region.
“This high-quality agreement reduces trade barriers, increases transparency and provides greater business certainty, making it easier for Australians to do business in Malaysia,” he said.
From the 1st of January, 97.6 percent of Australian goods currently exported to Malaysia are eligible for tariff-free treatment. By 2017, this is expected to rise to 99 percent.
According to DFAT, the removal of tariff barriers to trade will boost the competitiveness of Australian businesses in Malaysia. Likewise, Australian consumers and businesses will also be expecting lower costs of Malaysian products entering Australia.
The further benefits of MAFTA as listed in DFAT’s brochure include increases in foreign equity limits for specified services in the education, financial services, telecommunications and professional services industries; increases in the number of Australian managers and specialists allowed to work in Malaysia; and that it enables Australian workers and their families to attain Malaysian visas more easily.
For more information, visit the DFAT website.