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Japan FTA: big tick for exporters but work still needs to be done

By Export Council of Australia · April 09, 2014

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Domestic barriers must be addressed to ensure Australian producers can take full advantage of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan says the Export Council of Australia.

The conclusion of the Japan FTA represents a significant milestone in trade liberalisation and a major opportunity for bilateral trade. This is a very important and strategic moment in Australian trade as Japan has been a major trading partner for a considerable time, only recently eclipsed by China.

The Export Council of Australia’s Executive Chairman, Ian Murray is adamant that international competitiveness begins at home and to truly capitalise on this, and other trade agreements, it’s vital that Government cuts red and green tape to help facilitate trade.

“It’s time to embrace sensible foreign investment and take advantage of Australia’s clean green image. Australia is quickly becoming the leading provider of high value food to the rapidly growing middle classes in Asia and this agreement will help to make Australia more competitive in the export of food, particularly beef, cheese wine, and seafood’s.

“The opening up of trade in the 1950's with Japan was, for its time, an incredibly courageous move for the then government and has paid off handsomely. The government is on the right track and the Export Council of Australia supports the agenda which is in line with its trade policy recommendations,” Mr Murray said.

The Export Council of Australia’s key Trade Policy recommendations were put in place to help facilitate trade and include:

  • Regulatory reform should be implemented to improve trade facilitation and increase Australia’s competitive position
  • Develop world class economic and physical infrastructure in order to improve Australia’s international competitiveness.
  • Australia should prioritise investment in cohesive trade promotion which is nationally driven.
  • Trade in goods and services should be treated as a whole-of-government issue
  • Australia should continue supporting WTO initiatives and pursuing a strategic approach to regional and bilateral trade negotiations.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy with a population of more than 127 million people and has been ranked as the second most important market, for agricultural exporters, according to the 2014 Australian International Business Survey.

This agreement will accelerate the growth of Australian food exports into Japan to meet growing demand from Japanese consumers who value Australia's high quality food production.

For further information please contact Richelle Ward │Export Council of Australia │ or 0414 290 526.

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