I am very pleased to confirm that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will enter into force on Sunday, 20 December 2015 opening up fantastic opportunities for our local exporters.
This announcement by the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP follows the ‘exchange of notes’ between both countries in Sydney on Wednesday 9 December 2015, signalling that both Australia and China have now fulfilled their respective domestic requirements.
ChAFTA coming into force this year is a significant achievement; one that will save Australian exporters hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in extra tariff payments next year alone, compared to if the agreement had been delayed until 2016.
The Government has worked hard to ensure this high-quality agreement enters into force before the end of the year, giving Australian businesses large and small, enhanced market access to the world’s second biggest economy; one that is increasingly seeking the high quality goods and services Australia is renowned for.
At commencement, more than 86 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to China (worth more than $86 billion in 2014) will enter duty free, rising to 96 per cent when ChAFTA is fully implemented.
The powerful trifecta of agreements the Government has secured with China, Japan and Korea ensures our home-grown businesses are vastly more competitive in a market of more than 1.5 billion people, opening up endless opportunities across goods, services and investment.
Together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the trade agreements with Asia form a key plank of the Government’s strategy to promote jobs, growth and innovation in this critical post-mining investment boom period.
Businesses can search for product-specific ChAFTA tariff information and guidance on rules of origin through an innovative new FTA Portal. A guide for exporting and importing goods, providing step-by-step advice ahead of entry into force, is also available.
These and other resources are available at www.openforbusiness.gov.au
July 2016 will mark 100 years since the Battles of Fromelles and Pozières on the Western Front.
Applications are now open for attendance passes to attend commemorative services at Fromelles on 19 July 2016 and at Pozières on 23 July 2016.
This is not a ballot, and noting that numbers are limited, passes will be available to Australian citizens and permanent residents on a first come, first served basis.
To ensure safe attendance at small cemetery and memorial sites, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is managing a registration process open only to Australian citizens and permanent residents seeking attendance passes for the services, available only until all passes are allocated.
Those interested should visit the Department’s www.anzaccentenary.gov.au website for full details on the services and how to apply.