We support the Australian Government’s approach to prioritising multilateral trade agreements, including the World Trade Organisation Doha Round, and believe these efforts should be complemented through the negotiation of bilateral free trade agreements with Japan and Republic of Korea.
Our recent submission to the Parliamentary inquiry examining Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and Republic of Korea highlights the opportunities and the barriers we see to strengthening trade relations with both countries.
It is important that Australian businesses and the Government continue to work together to pursue market access through free trade agreements, as they provide a key opportunity to raise issues and promote Australia’s economic and trade interests.
In Republic of Korea, trade and investment with Australia is significant and growing. However barriers remain in some areas, including services. A comprehensive free trade agreement would further strengthen Australia’s trade relations with the country and deliver gains through closer economic integration.
In Japan, trade and investment with Australia also continues to grow, but tariff barriers remain a concern, particularly in relation to agricultural products and food. There are also non-tariff barriers faced by Australian businesses hoping to trade with Japan, for example, quotas and excessive product testing requirements.
“Improving our and our customers access to these markets is critical to helping underpin Australia’s efforts to contribute to and benefit from the fast growing East Asian economies”, said Asia Pacific CEO Alex Thursby.
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