North set to benefit from landmark free trade agreement


Businesses and industry across the north can start reaping the rewards now that the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has come into effect, according to Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald.

Senator Macdonald welcomed the official start of the agreement, which 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.

“This is fantastic news for a wide range of producers across the North, including our cane farmers, horticultural producers and the dairy and beef industry, who can all expect to see immediate benefits as a result of our efforts to get this free trade agreement across the line and into effect this year,” Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald said news keeps getting better for exporters, with the new year heralding another round of tariff cuts, on January 1, 2016.

“What the free trade agreement represents for Australian industry and exports, particularly in the North, is enormous opportunity to forge stronger ties with China and its population of 1.4billion people, including a burgeoning middle class. 

“Our Asian neighbours are where the strength of our innovative future lies, and this free trade agreement and the incentives it now offers new and potential exporters further reinforces the importance of that valuable relationship.”

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, at www.openforbusiness.gov.au

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