Australia strengthens trade agreement with ASEAN and New Zealand

  • Joint media release with:
  • Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia
  • Senator Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today joined ASEAN and New Zealand counterparts to announce the substantial conclusion of negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Once implemented, the upgrade will strengthen and improve the trade agreement to ensure it is fit for the future for businesses and trade in the region. It will provide a stronger foundation for Australian businesses to expand their economic engagement with Southeast Asia.

The upgraded trade agreement, once in force, will benefit Australian businesses through new chapters and provisions, including on micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, trade and sustainable development and education services. The upgraded agreement will also include enhanced provisions on electronic commerce, competition, customs procedures and trade facilitation, trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services and investment.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of focusing on trade facilitation to support businesses and secure supply chains. The upgrade will support traders to conduct business in the region, particularly when it comes to completing documentation – everything from origin certification to invoicing requirements.

The upgrade will also offer more opportunities for regional cooperation on issues such as the environment and climate change. ASEAN is a growing partner, particularly in renewable energy, as we work together to meet our climate objectives.

Quotes attributable to the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese:

“Strengthening trade agreements with ASEAN and New Zealand will mean better outcomes for Australian business and Australian families.”

“Today we open an ambitious new chapter for the growing economic relationships between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, in line with my government’s commitment to deepening engagement in Southeast Asia.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator Don Farrell:

“ASEAN is a significant market for Australian exporters with a combined population of over 660 million and GDP of more than USD3.3 trillion.” 

“Deeper economic integration with our key strategic and economic partners in Southeast Asia is a priority for the Australian Government.”

“By upgrading AANZFTA, we hope to create new commercial opportunities for Australians, our exporters and investors to work hand-in-hand with ASEAN. This would cement Australia as a partner of choice in an open and inclusive region.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Trade, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing, Senator Tim Ayres:

“An upgraded AANZFTA promises new opportunities for Australian businesses in a complex international trading environment and uncertain global economic outlook.”

“Announcing the substantial conclusion of these negotiations is a deliberate step to prepare our businesses for these opportunities.”

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