Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D7 - Friday, 15 April 2005 

Australia-Malaysia FTA: Call for Public Submissions

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is inviting public submissions and comment on issues relevant to the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and Malaysia.

On 7 April 2005, Prime Minister John Howard and his Malaysian counterpart, Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, agreed to launch negotiations on an FTA. The decision to move ahead with negotiations follows consideration by both governments of their respective scoping studies into the likely impact of an FTA.

As part of the Australia Scoping Study, the Government received 60 written submissions from a wide range of industry, State and Territory and non-government groups. These will now contribute to the development of negotiating priorities.

The Government accords high priority to the views and expertise of all stakeholders with interests in our commercial relationship with Malaysia and will continute to consult widely throughout the negotiations. As part of this process, DFAT is now inviting contributions from individuals and groups who did not make a submission as part of the scoping study process, as well as those who would like to provide additional comment or highlight a particular aspect of their previous submission for the Australian Scoping Study.

For more information on the Malaysia-Australia FTA, including a copy of the Australian Scoping Study visit the DFAT website.

Interested parties are encouraged to lodge submissions by 19 May 2005.

Submissions or comments may be lodged electronically to malaysia.fta@dfat.gov.au  by fax 02) 62613541 or by post at the following address:

Asia Trade Task Force
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221

Media Inquiries:  DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555