Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has announced that Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea will enter into force on 12 December 2014.
“KAFTA’s entry into force at this time will mean that many Australian exporters will benefit from an immediate tariff cut by Korea, and a further tariff cut on 1 January 2015; shoring up our competitiveness in our third largest export market,” Mr Robb said.
KAFTA is one of three landmark trade agreements concluded by the Abbott Government since taking office, with Japan and China FTAs completing the trifecta.
Under KAFTA, tariffs will be eliminated on 84 per cent of Korea’s imports (by value) from Australia immediately on 12 December. On full implementation of the Agreement, 99.8 per cent of Australian goods exports will enter Korea duty free.
“KAFTA is expected to result in an annual boost to the economy of close to $650 million when fully implemented. It’s also projected to create many thousands of jobs over the next decade, helping to underwrite our prosperity for years to come,” Mr Robb said.
Given Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner – with bilateral trade worth more than $34 billion in 2013-14 – Mr Robb said KAFTA will increase export opportunities across a wide range of industries: from beef, wheat, sugar, dairy, wine, horticulture and seafood, to automotive suppliers, and the resources and energy industries. It will also open up significant opportunities for service providers.
(Source: Australian Department of Agriculture)