Australia-Japan Foundation Welcomes 15 January Start for Trade Agreement with Japan

Media Release

6 January 2015

The Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) warmly welcomes Minister Robb’s announcement that the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) will enter into force on 15 January 2015. The Agreement provides two tariff cuts in quick succession: one on entry into force and the other on 1 April 2015, with further phased tariff reductions on 1 April in subsequent years.

The Chair of the AJF, Mr Murray McLean AO said today that “Australia and Japan enjoy a partnership of tremendous closeness that has both economic and strategic importance. This agreement will provide major market access gains for Australian exporters and signal a significant elevation in the remarkable and long-standing commercial relationship between Australia and Japan”. The AJF has been a strong supporter of economic and trade liberalisation and has funded a number of projects since its establishment in 1976 to promote trade and investment.

Japan has been a crucial mainstay of the Australian economy since the bilateral Agreement on Commerce of 1957 signaled the beginning of a modern trade partnership. Japan is Australia’s second-largest trading partner with total two-way goods and services trade in 2013-14 amounting to $72.2 billion. Japan is Australia’s second-largest export destination with Australian goods exports to Japan reaching $49.0 billion in 2013-14. Top goods export commodities include liquefied natural gas, coal, iron ores and concentrates, beef and copper ores and concentrates. In 2013, Japan was Australia’s third-largest investor with investment stock of $131.0 billion and Australian investment stock in Japan of $50.2 billion, making Japan Australia’s sixth largest investment destination.

JAEPA was signed in Canberra on 8 July 2014 during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Australia. Further information can be found at: http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/jaepa/

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Last Updated: 6 January 2015