What are FTAs?

Free trade agreements (FTAs) are treaties between two or more countries designed to reduce or eliminate certain barriers to trade and investment, and to facilitate stronger trade and commercial ties between participating countries.

Why are FTAs good for Australia?

FTAs open up opportunities for Australian exporters and investors to expand their businesses into key overseas markets. FTAs can improve market access across all areas of trade — goods, services and investment — and help to maintain and stimulate the competitiveness of Australian firms. This benefits Australian consumers through access to an increased range of better value goods and services. Read more about the benefits of FTAs.

Which countries does Australia have FTAs with?

Australia has 10 FTAs and is conducting FTA negotiations with a range of other countries:

FTAs and the World Trade Organization

As a member and strong supporter of the WTO, Australia upholds legal trade disciplines in relation to its FTAs to ensure they are of the highest quality and support the international trading system. The Australian Government considers these standards as essential to all potential FTA participants and will not enter into trade agreements that fall short of the benchmarks set by the WTO or the benchmarks we set ourselves. Under WTO rules FTAs must:

  • eliminate tariffs and other restrictions on 'substantially all the trade' in goods between its member countries, and
  • eliminate substantially all discrimination against service suppliers from member countries (helping to increase trade in services).

This ensures Australia's FTA are comprehensive in their scope and result in the best possible outcomes for Australia.

How can businesses take advantage of Australia’s FTAs?

Taking advantage of our FTAs with other countries offers numerous benefits for businesses, including those businesses looking to import and export.

Find out how to use FTAs.

Last Updated: 7 December 2017