Asean Australian Free Trade Agreement

26Oct09

The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, announced on Oct 25 2009 that Australia will enter into a free trade agreement with ASEAN countries which will take effect from January 1 2010.

Background the Australian perspective : The agreement spans 12 countries and over 600 million people and covers about 20 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade, worth $112 billion and which covers goods, services, investment, intellectual property and e-commerce. By 2020, the deal will remove tariffs on 96 per cent of Australia’s exports to ASEAN countries. At the moment, only 67 per cent of exports to the region are free from tariffs.

What is there for Malaysia? :

Australian goods imports from Malaysia are worth RM20.3 billion (2007/2008). Malaysia is the 9th biggest supplier to Australia.

Significant imports 2007/08 include:
• Crude Oil RM7,606 billion
• Computers & Parts RM2,317 billion
• TV’s and Radio’s RM1,922 billion
• Telecoms Equipment RM761 million
• Integrated Circuits RM605 million
• Furniture RM53824 million
• Fats and Oils RM356 million
• Chemicals RM346 million
• Wood RM217 million
• Gold RM193 million

Australia’s Services Trade with Malaysia (2007/08)
• Two-way trade services in 2007/08 was RM6.2 billion with Australian services exports accounting for RM3.6 billion of this
• Major Australian services exports to Malaysia are education and tourism
( Ref : http://www.australia.org.my/klpr/trade_wmsia.html )

How is our SME going to responds to this and even to AFTA (which is being implemented)?

What do you produce which you think can be exported to Australia ? Or what can we import from Australia for our market ? What about using e-commerce as your means of doing business .

For those interested , we should start thinking of a plan of action .

I am inviting our readers to share with us their comments.



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