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Trade Minister to sign new free trade agreement in Malaysia

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Trade Minister to sign new free trade agreement in Malaysia  article image

Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson heads to Malaysia to sign a new comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), aimed to further integrate the Australian economy with the fast-growing Asian region. In Kuala Lumpur for the signing, alongside his Malaysian counterpart Mustapa Mohamed, Emerson has welcomed the forthcoming agreement which is said to guarantee tariff-free entry for 97.6 percent of recent goods imports by Malaysia from Australia once it enters into force. "The signing of this FTA will open a new chapter in Australia's relationship with Malaysia," Emerson said of the new agreement. According to the Trade Minister, Australian exporters of automotive parts and a wide range of other manufactured products, as well as exporters of iron, steel and milk, will benefit from improved market access under the agreement. "The FTA builds on an already-solid commercial partnership by embracing services and investment, where Australian companies will increasingly engage with Asia in this, the Asian Century," he said. Malaysia is Australia's 10th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth $16 billion in 2011. In Malaysia, Australia already holds a strong local presence through telecommunications, insurance, education, tourism, accountancy and mining-related services. Emerson will also visit the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Germany and Russia on this trip.

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