Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force

Media release

1 January 2013

Australia’s ground-breaking free trade agreement with Malaysia enters into force today, opening up opportunities for exporters and investors across most sectors.

From today, 97.6 per cent of Australian goods currently exported to Malaysia are eligible for tariff-free treatment, rising to 99 per cent in 2017.

Service providers - including universities, schools, banks, insurers, telecoms companies and accountancy firms - will also benefit, with increased access to the Malaysian market and an easing of rules on control of Malaysian businesses.

Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson said the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) would further integrate the Australian economy into the fast-growing Asian region.

“It builds on the benefits already flowing from the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA to open up new opportunities for investors and exporters,” Dr Emerson said.

“This high-quality agreement reduces trade barriers, increases transparency and provides greater business certainty, making it easier for Australians to do business in Malaysia.”

Dr Emerson said Australian exporters would benefit from improved market access for a variety of goods and services, including liquid milk and processed foods, automotive vehicles and parts, iron and steel.

Under MAFTA, the remaining Australian tariffs on Malaysian goods have been removed, helping lower the cost of consumer goods for Australians.

MAFTA is Australia’s seventh free trade agreement. Agreements are already in force with Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and the multiparty ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA.

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