December 2008 update on the Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Officials Preparatory Talks for the Resumption of Negotiations

Australia’s Minister for Trade, the Hon Simon Crean MP attended the Malaysia-Australia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 7 October 2008, where he and his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, agreed to resume negotiations on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA). Officials were instructed to hold preparatory talks.

Australian and Malaysian officials met in Canberra on 24-25 November. They agreed on a process and work program with a view to resuming formal MAFTA negotiations in 2009.

The last full round of MAFTA negotiations was held in 2006. Since then, Malaysia and Australia have concentrated on concluding negotiations on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA). AANZFTA negotiations were concluded substantively at the thirteenth ASEAN Economic Ministers-Closer Economic Relations (AEM-CER) consultations held in Singapore on 28 August 2008.

Both sides agreed that MAFTA would need to add value to the regional FTA

Additional Information

Media release: Australia-Malaysia Trade Talks Agree To Resume FTA Negotiations, 7 October 2008