FTAs boosting bottom line of Aussie business


Media release from The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP

Tariffs on Australian exports to Japan have been cut for the second time this year, giving businesses – large and small – an even greater advantage in this lucrative Asian market, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said.

Mr Robb is marking today’s milestone with a visit to Tasmanian business Abalone Farms Australia, who he explained, is already enjoying the benefits of the agreement.

“Under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement – or JAEPA – tariffs of 7 and 9.6 per cent on their products have already been eliminated, giving them a significant advantage over competitors in the Japanese market,” Mr Robb said.

Based in Bicheno, Abalone Farms Australia’s Director Jonathan Lillie said given Japan is by far their largest export market, the agreement has delivered significant results.

“Our exports to Japan have been increasing steadily in recent years; our parent company Southseas Abalone has gone from exporting 170 tonnes to Japan in 2014, to an expected volume of 270 tonnes by 2017.

“Following the drop in export costs to Japan, we’re now exploring how we can capitalise on the tariff reductions delivered by the Free Trade Agreement with China,” Mr Lillie said.

Mr Robb encouraged other businesses to follow Mr Lillie’s lead and explore the potential opportunities created by the powerful trifecta of agreements with China, Japan and Korea – Australia’s first, second and fourth largest trading partners.

“While many exporters – such as Abalone Farms Australia – are fully aware of the terms of the agreements, I recognise there are those that are not certain about what the FTAs mean for their business. That’s why the government has begun rolling out a series of seminars around the country to help both existing and potential exporters, understand the agreements and the opportunities they create,” Mr Robb said.

“Work is also well underway on developing an online portal which will provide users with the information they need – including a comprehensive tariff finder – to help make informed decisions about trading internationally.”

More than 97 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to Japan will receive preferential access, or enter duty-free, once the agreement is fully implemented. JAEPA is the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has ever signed; delivering ongoing benefits for goods, services and investment exports well into the future.

Trade and Investment Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7420 or 0437 971 721