The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
The Government is committed to ensuring that Australian businesses fully capitalise on the opportunities created by the trifecta of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan and Korea.
The 2015 Budget delivers $24.6 million to assist Australian businesses make the most of the export and job-creating opportunities generated by these historic Free Trade Agreements.
This investment will help businesses large and small across Australia’s metropolitan, suburban, regional and rural areas to access the export opportunities these agreements create.
“This powerful trifecta of agreements account for over 62 per cent of Australia’s export market and provide Australian businesses with access to more than 1.5 billion people, opening up endless opportunities across goods, services and investment,” Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.
“Reaching out to business to help make our FTAs more accessible is something governments over the years haven’t always done as well as they could have; the agreements our Government has secured with three of our four biggest trading partners, offer too much promise to risk low utilisation,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said a key plank of the Government’s FTA outreach programme includes the continued roll-out of a national FTA seminar series over the next two years, which he explained, is a collaborative project undertaken by Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“The seminars are designed to equip people with the information needed to leverage the opportunities created by the FTAs. We plan to reach-out to thousands of businesspeople in all corners of the country over the coming weeks and months,” Mr Robb said.
“The Government is also developing an online dashboard-portal – including a comprehensive tariff finder – which will be a fast and efficient tool for businesses to use, to help make well informed decisions about trading internationally,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said FTA ‘kits’ will also be made available for business chambers, industry groups, local councils and others, to deliver their own FTA education activities.
“The kits will include fact sheets and a video presentation showcasing examples of Australian businesses that are already capitalising on the opportunities created by the Free Trade Agreements with Asia, and as a result are seeing significant results on their bottom line,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said the FTA outreach programme will also include enhanced help-desk support, a grants program and training, in addition to a promotional campaign to explain the benefits of the FTAs to businesses and consumers, and showcase Australia as a trade and investment destination for offshore businesses.
- Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555