Free trade opens market
Written on the 10 March 2009
THE recent South East Asian free trade deal will give Australia greater access to the world’s third largest global market and Queensland’s wine, beef, dairy and horticulture industries are set to reap the benefits.
But fully comprehensive bilateral agreements will still remain a ‘Holy Grail’ for some industries.
The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) signing in Thailand has been welcomed by Queensland business, but the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has called for non-exclusionist bilateral agreements.
CCIQ president Beatrice Booth says the agreement is not comprehensive and inclusive for all industry, but while some of the benefits will be watered down it is still a positive step overall.
“The 10 members that make up the Association of South East Asian Nations have an estimated combined GDP of $3.2 trillion - this opens the door for many Queensland businesses,” says Booth.
“Significant opportunities exist for Queensland under AANZFTA in the mineral, agribusiness, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, education and financial services sectors. Queensland’s wine, beef, dairy and horticulture industries should specifically realise benefits from the agreement.”
The deal comes as other nations and potential competitors, including the EU and China, have already signed or are negotiating free trade deals with ASEAN.