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Australian Exporters Making The Most Of FTAs

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

01 March 2018


Australia's free trade agreements are being widely used by Australian businesses, according to a new report commissioned by the Government.

The "Free Trade Agreement Utilisation Study" was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and was compiled by PwC. PwC asked Australian businesses to describe their experience of using Australia's FTAs, particularly those with the three north Asian countries China, Korea, and Japan.

Among the key findings were that Australia's north Asian FTAs have high utilization rates for merchandise trade and that internationally engaged Australian businesses are aware of these agreements and view them favorably. PwC also concluded that these FTAs are influencing business activity, confidence, strategy, expansion planning, and international investment, but are viewed less as a silver bullet and more as complementary to their business strategies.

PwC said that 78 percent of respondents reported using at least one FTA to source product offshore, with 62 percent of Australian exporters using at least one FTA to get their product into export markets.

A statement posted on Trade Minister Steven Ciobo's website said that more than 80 percent (by value) of eligible exports to China and Korea are benefitting from preferences provided under these agreements. In the case of Japan, the figure is 95 percent.

The statement added: "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 3.5bn middle-class consumers by 2030."

TAGS: investment | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Australia | China | offshore | agreements | Korea, South | import duty | trade | Japan | Study

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