“The conclusion of trade negotiations with Japan is a major milestone for one of Australia’s most important bilateral relationships”, Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone said.
“The Japan–Australia Free Trade Agreement will reinvigorate and strengthen an already critical bilateral relationship by providing a modern commercial framework for increased trade and investment,” Ms Livingstone said.
“As Australia’s largest trade partner for much of the last four decades, and the third largest foreign investor in Australia, Japan has long been a significant source of the capital and markets needed to develop key Australian export industries, including coal, iron ore and LNG.
“An effort now needs to be made to push ahead with implementation, which is a task for both government and business.
“The highly complementary nature of our economic relationship should provide significant gains for both sides.
“For Australia this means more access for agri-producers, services providers and investors to the large, affluent Japanese market, and Japan will benefit from greater food and energy security and greater access to investment opportunities in Australia.
“The BCA has previously called for and supported the government in intensifying negotiations with Japan to conclude this long-running negotiation, and we welcome the focus and pragmatic approach the government has brought to this task.
“Now that the negotiations have concluded, the sooner this deal enters into force, the quicker the benefits will flow through to our consumers, businesses and the broader community, and the earlier we will see the agreement support higher levels of job creation.
“Australia has long benefited from a strong bipartisan commitment to advancing Australia’s trade and investment interests with key trading partners, and the contribution of the previous government in laying the groundwork for this agreement should be acknowledged.
“The conclusion of trade agreements with Japan and Korea are to be commended, and we urge the government to show the same level of commitment to concluding a balanced and comprehensive agreement with China.
For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2603 | Mobile 0403 241 128