Today marks the third anniversary of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), which entered into force on 12 December 2014.

KAFTA continues to demonstrate its worth for Australian businesses: three years on, tariffs continue to fall as exports continue to grow.

The landmark agreement has strengthened our trade and investment relationship with the Republic of Korea and put our exporters in pole position to capitalise on a growing market that wants Australian goods and services.

Several Australian exports continue to experience significant growth as tariffs are reduced: from January to September 2017, key agriculture exports such as sheep meat and cheese have seen growth of 95.2 per cent to $83.8 million, and 49.6 per cent to $20.2 million respectively, when compared to the same period last year.

KAFTA has also brought significant benefits to Australian manufactured exports. Sales of beauty and skincare products have risen more than 116 per cent over January-September 2017 (compared to the same period last year), on the back of tariff reductions.

This continues the trend we have seen since KAFTA’s entry into force. For example, the exports of bottled wine exports for the first nine months of this year have grown 52 per cent when compared to the same nine months in 2014 before KAFTA.

KAFTA also gives Australian services exporters the best treatment Korea has provided to any other trading partner. It also provides opportunities for Australian investors in Korea.

Increased trade from KAFTA is leading to more investment. In 2016, the total stock of Korean investment in Australia increased to $23.6 billion.

KAFTA's strong results send a powerful message to the world - trade works. It's growing Australian exports and creating Australian jobs. That’s why the Turnbull Coalition Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda and more agreements.

A fifth round of KAFTA tariff cuts will occur on 1 January 2018, delivering yet another boost for Australian exporters and their suppliers.

For more information on KAFTA, visit www.dfat.gov.au/kafta

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555