Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Malaysia market snapshot

  • GDP: US$303.5 billion (2012*)
  • GDP per capita: US$10,304 (2012*)
  • GDP growth: 5.6 per cent (2012*)
  • Population:  29.5 million (2012*)
  • Trade with Australia: A$17.7 billion (2012)

*IMF forecast subject to revision

About the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement

Australia's former Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, and Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, signed the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012. The Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2013.

MAFTA is a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that further integrates the Australian economy into the fast-growing Asian region. The Agreement builds on benefits already flowing to the Australian economy from the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, which started for Australia and Malaysia in 2010.

Malaysia is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth $17.7 billion in the 2012 calendar year.  The Agreement opens avenues for Australian goods and services into the dynamic Malaysian market.

MAFTA is an important part of the network of Free Trade Agreements in this region that Australia is pursuing to advance our trade interests in the Asian Century.

Map of Malaysia - quick facts

Map of Malaysia

Labuan

The island of Labuan has been established as an integrated international business and financial centre.

Sarawak

Perth’s Curtin University and Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology both maintain campuses in Sarawak.

Peninsular Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia‘s tropical climate is very favourable for the production of various exotic fruits and vegetables, as it seldom experiences hurricanes or droughts.

News

April 2013

To assist business, a schedule is now available showing Malaysia's implementation of its MAFTA tariff commitments in the latest version of the Harmonized System, HS 2012.

For more information see Annex 1 under the Official Documents Tab

January 2013

The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) entered into force on 1 January 2013.

Media release: Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force. 1 January 2013

December 2012

Australia and Malaysia exchanged written confirmation that each had completed its domestic procedures to allow MAFTA to enter into force on 1 January 2013. 

October 2012

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) released its report on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 31 October 2012. JSCOT Report 130 recommended that binding treaty action be taken.

August 2012

The text of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) was tabled in Parliament on August 14 2012. It is now being considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) in accordance with Australia's domestic approval processes. JSCOT has called for interested parties and organisations to make submissions on MAFTA. For more information see the JSCOT website.

May 2012

Former Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, and Malaysia’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, signed the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012.

MAFTA negotiations were finalised on 30 March 2012, consistent with a commitment by former Prime Minister Gillard and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib to conclude within 12 months of their March 2011 meeting in Canberra.

Dr Emerson exchanging Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement side-letters with Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed.22 May 2012
Then Minister for Trade Dr Craig Emerson exchanges MAFTA side-letters with Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, 22 May 2012.

January 2012

Keynote Address by former Minister Emerson to the Australia Malaysia Business Council and the Malaysia Australia Business Council, 30 January 2012.

March 2011

During a joint press conference with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib in Canberra, former Prime Minister Gillard committed to finalising the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Transcript of joint press conference with Prime Minister Najib, Canberra, 3 March 2011.

Official documents

Here you can locate the full text of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement and many other associated official documents.

The MAFTA package signed on 22 May 2012 consists of:

Malaysia's MAFTA schedule of tariff commitments was finalised using the tariff classification format known as HS 2007, and the tariff schedule annexed to the Agreement is in this format. The Product Specific Rules annexed to the Agreement also use the HS 2007 format. However, both Australia and Malaysia now make use of the updated tariff classification format known as HS 2012 and MAFTA has been implemented by the two Parties using this updated format. Malaysia's MAFTA tariff schedule, and the Product Specific Rules, have therefore been converted by the Parties into the HS 2012 format and are included on this page to assist business in making use of the Agreement (along with the HS 2007 versions attached to the Agreement). As Australia's tariff schedule binds tariffs on all products at tariff-free treatment from entry-into-force of the Agreement, it does not need to make use of the above tariff classification formats to record commitments.

Text of the Agreement

Chapters 1 to 21 of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement [PDF 534 KB] | [DOC 712 KB]

Annex 1 — Tariff Schedules (HS 2012)

Annex 2 — Product Specific Rules (HS 2012)

Annex 3 — Schedules of Specific Services Commitments

Annex 4 — Schedules of Movement of Natural Persons Commitments

Side Letters

Implementing Arrangement for Economic Cooperation

Economic and Technical Cooperation Implementing Arrangement [PDF 58 KB] | [DOC 70 KB]

Non-Legally Binding Exchange of Letters

Guide to the agreement

The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) will benefit Australian exporters, importers and consumers by opening markets and freeing trade and investment between our two countries.

The Agreement builds on the commitments made by both countries in Australia's regional Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN and New Zealand (AANZFTA).

Guides by sector

Chapter summaries

Chapter summaries - an introduction to the text of the agreement

For more information on doing business in Malaysia and about specific export opportunities, see the Austrade website. As well as country-specific information, the Austrade website also has a database that can be searched by industry.

Malaysia is a member of ASEAN and party to the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).

Resources

Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report 130

JSCOT Report 130 tabled on 31 October 2012

MAFTA National Interest Analysis

National Interest Analysis and Consultation on the Malaysia Free Trade Agreement

MAFTA Regulation Impact Statement

The MAFTA Regulation Impact Statement, as provided to the Office of Best Practice and Regulation

Negotiating updates

February 2012 update on the Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

December 2011 update on the Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

August 2011 update on Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

November 2010 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

April 2010 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

December 2009 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

August 2009 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations

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

October 2007 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

April 2007 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

November 2006 update II on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

November 2006 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

September 2006 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

July 2006 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

March 2006 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

February 2006 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

November 2005 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

August 2005 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

May 2005 update on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiation

Australian Scoping Study: An Australia-Malaysia FTA

In July 2004, Australia and Malaysia agreed to conduct parallel scoping studies of a free trade agreement (FTA). These studies were to provide a basis for the two governments to decide whether to proceed to negotiations.

The study below was Australia's contribution to the parallel scoping studies. Its main focus was the impact of a free trade agreement on Australia. The study found solid and worthwhile economic benefits for Australia from entering into a free trade agreement with Malaysia.

Submissions

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade invited submissions from individuals or groups on issues relevant to the negotiation of an FTA with Malaysia.

All submissions have been made publicly available on the DFAT website unless the author specified that all or part of the submission should not be made available to the public.

Confidentiality

Where organisations have not provided permission for their submissions to be publicly released, these submissions have been omitted from the list below and are not available to the public.

Copyright and content

Copyright in submissions resides with the author(s), not with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The views expressed in these submissions are the views of the author(s) and should not be understood as reflecting the views of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

File format

Submissions were provided to us in a range of formats but submissions have been published as PDF files. Free programs are available to read PDFs.

Public submissions to the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

Public submissions to the Australian Scoping Study (as received by sector):

General business
Agriculture, fishing and processed food
Manufacturing and mining
Services
Unions, NGOs and others
States and territory governments

Other resources

Contact us

  • Email: malaysia.fta@dfat.gov.au
  • Fax: (02) 6261 2187
  • Mail:
    Free Trade Agreement Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    RG Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221

For media enquiries, please call DFAT's Media Liaison Section: (02) 6261 1555.