17 February 2014
The Minister for Trade & Investment Media Release
The full text of Australia’s free trade agreement with Korea (KAFTA), our third-largest export market and fourth-largest trading partner, is today being publicly released, the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb announced.
“This is a comprehensive, world-class agreement that will deliver lasting benefits to the Australian economy. It forms part of the Abbott Government’s ambitious trade and investment agenda to support sustainable growth and job creation,” Mr Robb said.
KAFTA will bring immediate gains for Australian exporters. On entry-into-force, 84 per cent (by value) of Australia’s exports to Korea will enter duty free. After full implementation, the agreement will eliminate tariffs on 99.8 per cent of our exports. This deal helps level the playing field for Australian exporters competing with the US, EU and ASEAN, which have already signed trade deals with Korea.
“This agreement is particularly strong for Australian farmers, by eliminating prohibitive tariffs greater than 550 per cent in some cases with gains across beef, sugar, dairy, wheat, wine, horticulture and seafood. It also delivers strong outcomes for our resources, energy and manufacturing sectors,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said the high quality deal secured for Australian services in this agreement also needs to be acknowledged. Australian services constitute 70 per cent of Australia’s economy and employ four out of five Australians.
“KAFTA opens up all sorts of doors across legal, accounting, financial, engineering, telecommunications, education, environmental as well as film and television services,” Mr Robb said.
“It also includes provisions to facilitate more direct investment from Korea and create opportunities for Australian investment in Korea. “Conclusion of this agreement sends a strong signal to the world that Australia is indeed open for business,” he said.
The Australian and Korean Governments will sign the agreement shortly. KAFTA will then enter into force when both parties complete their respective domestic legal and parliamentary processes.
The full text of the Korea-Australia FTA can accessed on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: www.dfat.gov.au/fta/kafta/