Japan Post’s $8 billion proposal to acquire Australian freight and logistics giant Toll is a major vote of confidence in the future of the Australian economy.

This proposal reflects the Abbott Government’s repositioning of Free Trade Agreements to not only focus on the export of goods, but on the export of world class Australian services.  Japan Post is not acquiring Australian goods, it’s acquiring Australian services.

This deal, involving one of Australia’s major services companies, will see a substantial injection of capital, opportunities and jobs, in Toll in Australia.  Under the proposal Toll’s operations would continue to be run out of Australia with its existing management and workforce. 

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, was today meeting with representatives from Japan Post and Toll, and said freight and logistics is the heartbeat of economic activity.

“This offer represents a massive endorsement of Australian skills, services and expertise and underlines the strategic importance of Toll in the Asia Pacific, and provides an ideal platform to spearhead Japan Post and Toll’s global ambitions,” Mr Robb said.

“Toll is already a giant in the Asia Pacific; this deal will enable Toll to become a giant globally.

“It is also a vote of confidence in future freight demand, including anticipated growth of trade flows throughout the region, which will be underpinned by our recently concluded landmark Free Trade Agreements with Korea, China and of course Japan,” he said.

Toll described the Free Trade Agreement with Japan as an “historic moment” in the Australia-Japan relationship.

Toll also noted: “We expect this will create new opportunities for combined business, and will enable us to build a unique service for those focused on Australia-Japan trade.”

Mr Robb said: “Our Free Trade Agreement with Japan is now in force and is already stimulating new two-way trade and investment flows.  History shows that when you deepen trade relations, new investment inevitably follows,” he said.

The Japan Post offer is subject to shareholder and Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

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