Committee hearings on Indonesia and Hong Kong trade deals kick-off
TheJoint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will hold its first publichearings this week into two significant trade deals with Indonesia and HongKong.
Ministerfor Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham welcomed the start of thehearings into the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic PartnershipAgreement (IA-CEPA) and the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA).
"TheJSCOT inquiries are a key part of Australia's treaty-making process, providingbusiness groups and stakeholders opportunities to use this hearing process tohighlight the benefits of these agreements," Minister Birmingham said.
"Witha population of 270 million, a growing middle-class and high levels of economicgrowth, Indonesia presents enormous trade opportunities for Australian farmersand businesses.
"Australianfarmers will be major winners from this deal with producers of grains, livecattle and meat, dairy and horticulture all set to benefit from lower tariffsand improved access to Indonesian markets.
"Underour deal with Hong Kong, zero tariffs will be locked-in on most goods, marketaccess will be guaranteed for services suppliers, and conditions for two-wayinvestment will be significantly improved.
"Withone in five jobs in Australia trade related, and our Government committed toboosting the number of Australians employed in trade related jobs by an extra240,000, we need to continue efforts to expand access to international markets.
"Theseagreements will provide our farmers and businesses with more choices acrossmore countries, giving them maximum flexibility to respond to changingcircumstances or further grow our exports by developing new markets.
"OurGovernment is committed to swiftly ratifying these agreements so Australianfarmers, businesses and investors can see the benefits start to flow as soon aspossible.
"Wecontinue to urge the Australian Labor Party to remove any doubt and clearlyexpress support for these two free trade agreements which will unlock newexport opportunities for Australian exporters."
JSCOTwill hold public hearings with business groups and other stakeholders in Sydney(26 August), Melbourne (27 August) and Perth (2 September), as well as withgovernment officials in Canberra (9 September).
Detailson the hearings can be found at: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/Indonesia-AustraliaCEPA/Public_Hearings
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