Free trade agreement amended

Free trade agreement amended

David Sexton – Melbourne

October 14 2016 – 12:00:00

FEDERAL trade minister Steve Ciobo has announced the signing of an amendment to the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).

The deal was signed by Mr Ciobo and his Singaporean counterpart Minister Lim Hng Kiang and is said to be an important part of Australia’s Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore.

Mr Ciobo said Singapore had given Australia its best FTA treatment, putting Australian exporters on an equal or better footing than foreign competitors.

“Complementing existing tariff-free entry for goods, the updated rules of origin will simplify administration and reduce the compliance costs for traders using the Agreement,” he said.

A framework is also being developed to support mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

SAFTA is also expected to reduce so-called ‘red tape’ for investors from Singapore.

The amended SAFTA is expected to build on the FTAs the government concluded with China, Japan and South Korea.

“The Turnbull Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda, and more free trade agreements, as part of our national economic plan to create jobs and economic growth,” he said