FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said local exporters are now less than two weeks away from realising the substantial benefits created by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), following confirmation the FTA will enter into force on Sunday, 20 December.
Mr Joyce said the announcement by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, follows the ‘exchange of notes’ between both countries in Sydney on Wednesday [9 Dec], signalling that both Australia and China have now fulfilled their respective domestic requirements.
He said ChAFTA coming into force this year was a significant achievement; one that will save Australian exporters hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in extra tariff payments next year alone, compared to if the agreement had been delayed until 2016.
“Entry into force this year will see an immediate round of tariff cuts, followed by a second round of cuts on 1 January 2016, allowing the benefits of the agreement with China to flow quickly through to local exporters and consumers,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Government has worked hard to ensure this high-quality agreement enters into force before the end of the year, giving Australian businesses large and small, enhanced market access to the world’s second biggest economy; one that is increasingly seeking the high quality goods and services Australia is renowned for.”
On entry into force, more than 86 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to China (worth more than $86 billion in 2014) will enter duty free, rising to 96 per cent when ChAFTA is fully implemented.
For the local region, Mr Joyce said this is particularly good news for producers of beef, sheep and goat meat, hides, barley, dairy products, wine, live cattle, fruit, vegetables and nuts, cotton seed, poultry meat, wool and coal.
“The powerful trifecta of agreements the Government has secured with China, Japan and Korea ensures our home-grown businesses are vastly more competitive in a market of more than 1.5 billion people, opening up endless opportunities across goods, services and investment,” Mr Joyce said.
“Together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the trade agreements with Asia form a key plank of the Government’s strategy to promote jobs, growth and innovation in this critical post-mining investment boom period.”
Businesses can search for product-specific ChAFTA tariff information and guidance on rules of origin through an innovative new https://ftaportal.dfat.gov.au
A guide for exporting and importing goods, providing step-by-step advice ahead of entry into force, is also available.
These and other resources are available at www.openforbusiness.gov.au