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Business envoy July 2021

Trade expansion and diversification – broadening horizons for Australian businesses

Every business understands the importance of having a diversity of customers. Diversity offers greater protections against changes in circumstances because you’re not reliant on one or a handful of customers.

The Morrison Government is being proactive in finding new trading opportunities for Australian exporters, as well as supporting them to reach new markets.

We recently announced an Agreement in Principle to sign the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement. The UK will liberalise Australian imports with 99 per cent of Australian goods, including Australian wine and short and medium grain milled rice, entering the UK duty free when the agreement enters into force. That means Australia’s high-quality products will be even more competitive.

Former Minister Dan Tehan briefs the UK FTA team in Canberra on 22 June 2021. Photo credit: DFAT

Under our Government, trade covered by free trade agreements has increased from 28 per cent to around 70 per cent, and with the Australia-UK FTA it will grow to 75 per cent. We are also working on a free trade deal with the European Union and exploring opportunities in the Indo-Pacific, Israel and with more countries in Europe.

Creating more opportunities for Australian exporters to reach international customers through trade liberalisation is just one way the Morrison Government is supporting diversification.

Our Government is also working to strengthen and enhance the rules-based global trading system which ensures protection for Australian business against unfair practices. We are working to enhance Australia’s interests in the World Trade Organization, G20, APEC and OECD. And we work to strengthen key bilateral relationships, and tackle existing non-tariff measures, to ensure business is well placed to take advantage of opportunities.

We are also providing market intelligence to help you better understand and navigate the risks and explore new market opportunities as your operations expand. And this is alongside dedicated assistance for Australian business – including through Austrade’s services; the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program; and loans, bonds and guarantees through Export Finance Australia – which all play a key role.

This edition of business envoy considers some of these issues in greater depth and explores the programs, services and resources available to support you through your business’ expansion and diversification journey, no matter what stage you are at:

  • We take a look at the new market opportunities that the prospective Australia-UK free trade agreement will deliver.
  • Former Group CEO, Asialink, Penny Burtt discusses the importance of market diversification for businesses navigating a post-pandemic world and market opportunities in the Indo-Pacific.
  • We profile Indo-Pacific markets like Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and India.
  • We explain Government trade and investment policies, such as the Global Resources Strategy, Export Finance support mechanisms, and the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative.

Working together to expand and diversify Australia’s exports will not only broaden our trade horizons but contribute to building a stronger and more resilient economy, creating more jobs and benefiting all Australians. With thanks to all our contributors, I hope you enjoy this edition and find it useful in your own efforts to take Australia to the world.

The Hon Dan Tehan MP, former Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

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