The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) provides Australian services exporters with the best treatment Korea has agreed with any trading partner, on par with its agreements with the United States and Europe.
Access to Korea’s legal consulting services market by permitting Australian firms to establish representative offices in Korea and Australian lawyers to advise on Australian and public international law. On 12 December 2016 Australian firms were permitted to enter into cooperative arrangements with Korean firms and by 12 December 2019 will be able to form joint venture law firms.
Australian financial services providers are able to supply a clearly defined list of financial services on a “cross-border” basis, enabling Australian suppliers to do business in Korea without the need to open a full commercial presence. This includes investment advice and portfolio management services for investment funds, as well as a range of insurance and insurance-related services. KAFTA also provides for enhanced transparency of regulatory decision-making, as well as streamlined licensing procedures for Australian suppliers.
Australian accountants are able to provide accounting consultancy services relating to Australian or international tax or accounting law through offices in Korea and, within five years of entry into force (by 12 December 2019), work and invest in Korean tax or accounting corporations.
Since 12 December 2016 Australian telecommunications providers are able to own up to 100 per cent of the voting shares of a facilities-based telecommunications service supplier in Korea, and be licensed to provide public telecommunications services. KAFTA establishes strong disciplines to prevent anti-competitive conduct and ensure that major suppliers provide interconnection, resale of services, leased circuit services and co‑location of equipment on reasonable, non-discriminatory terms.
Korea’s commitments guarantee market access for Australian education providers in Korea’s growing adult education sector.
Film and Television Services
KAFTA delivers new commercial opportunities for the Australian film and television industry via co-production arrangements, facilitating creative exchange and the development of screen projects of cultural significance.
Australian engineers will benefit from closer collaboration between Engineers Australia and the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, via a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), signed on 6 May 2015.
Other Professional Services
Australian professionals benefit from liberalised visa access arrangements, including for dependants to enter and stay in Korea. Australian professionals will also benefit from on-going work towards mutual recognition of qualifications.