The Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, has warmly welcomed the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) on the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), tabled today in the Australian Parliament.

Responding promptly to the recommendation to proceed with binding treaty action, the Government introduced implementing customs legislation today into Parliament.

“This brings the entry into force of KAFTA, and the many benefits it offers, one step closer. JSCOT’s review has clearly recognised the benefit of KAFTA to Australian business and to the Australian economy,” said Mr Robb.

South Korea is Australia’s third-largest export market and fourth-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth $32 billion in 2013.

“KAFTA is a world-class, comprehensive agreement that substantially liberalises our trade and supports investment with a major market,” said Mr Robb.

KAFTA will significantly boost Australia’s position in this major market where competitors like the United States, European Union and ASEAN countries are already benefitting from preferential access.

“Both governments are working towards entry into force before the end of 2014, so that businesses in both countries can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible,” said Mr Robb.

KAFTA is also being reviewed by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee, which is due to report within one month of the tabling of the JSCOT report.

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