Australian exporters are embracing and benefitting from free trade agreements – particularly in Asia, according to a research report released today.
The Free Trade Agreement Utilisation Study finds FTAs with Japan, China and Korea are assisting exporters to tap into lucrative north Asian markets.
More than 80 per cent (by value) of eligible exports to China and Korea are benefitting from preferences secured under these agreements. In the case of Japan, this figure is as high as 95 per cent.
“These trade agreements are delivering preferential access for Australian exporters, putting them in pole position to capitalize on the growing Asian market, which will be home to 3.5 billion middle-class consumers by 2030,” says Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.
The report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC), also finds trade agreements are having a positive impact on business confidence and activity.
Mr Ciobo says the report is the most robust and comprehensive evaluation of trade agreement utilisation in Australia to date.
The government has been working to equip Australian businesses with the knowledge and know how to make the most of free trade agreements to expand their businesses internationally.
An FTA roadshow has been travelling across Australia to assist small businesses in making the most of free trade agreements. The roadshow is fast approaching a milestone, with the 100th seminar to be conducted later this year.
And plans are afoot to expand Austrade’s award-winning FTA Portal that provides easy-to-access information on trade agreements.
The Free Trade Agreement Utilisation Study was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and is available on the DFAT website: http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/trade-investment/Pages/free-trade-agreement-utilisation-study-pwc-report.aspx.