Australia’s services exports to CPTPP countries were worth over $18 billion in 2017 (21.5 per cent of total Australian services exports). The CPTPP ensures Australian service suppliers have improved transparency and predictability in the operating conditions in CPTPP markets.
The CPTPP also captures future market reforms in services sectors, meaning that any liberalisation will flow through to Australian service providers.
The CPTPP framework supports the efforts of Australian education and training companies to expand internationally through courses delivered online, Australian education professionals working overseas, and foreign students studying in Australia.
Australia’s education-related travel services exports in 2017 were worth $30 billion, with exports to CPTPP countries accounting for 14.1 per cent of the total (valued at $4.3 billion). In 2017, Malaysia and Vietnam were Australia’s 3rd and 5th largest education services export markets.
Key CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian exporters of education services include:
- Commitments that guarantee access to key existing markets as well as markets with growth potential for Australian universities and vocational institutions to deliver education services, including online education services;
- Australian universities and vocational education providers will be able to pursue new opportunities to establish or expand a campus or institution in Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam;
- Australian universities and vocational education providers are able to offer a wider range of courses to Vietnamese students, including new and emerging technical disciplines;
- Malaysia has agreed that international schools can be 100 per cent foreign owned;
- Vietnam has locked in the current percentage of Vietnamese students permitted to be enrolled in international schools and guaranteed that any future reforms which increase that percentage will be captured as a CPTPP commitment;
- Vietnam has agreed to further cooperation in the education sector through a pilot program that will enable Australian universities to provide online courses to Vietnamese students; and
- Independent Australian education professionals seeking contracts to work at overseas education institutions have guaranteed access with streamlined visa arrangements and longer periods of stay.
Financial services, including banking, insurance and funds management, is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Australian economy. Total Australian cross-border exports of financial services rose to $4.3 billion in 2017, with exports to CPTPP countries accounting for 14 per cent of the total (or approximately $0.6 billion).
The CPTPP includes rules and commitments which open opportunities for an increase in Australia’s cross-border exports, as well as to help reduce the regulatory restrictions on Australian firms established in, or looking to enter, CPTPP countries.
Highlights of CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian financial services exporters include:
- Guaranteed market access in all CPTPP countries for investment advice and portfolio management services to collective investment schemes, as well as insurance of risks relating to maritime shipping and international commercial aviation and freight;
- Credit, debit and other payment card transactions have become an integral part of doing business in Australia and around the world. CPTPP countries have committed to allowing the supply of electronic payment services for payment card transactions into their countries on a cross-border basis;
- Duplicative licensing regimes can inhibit or prevent Australian financial services being offered in other countries. The CPTPP includes provisions that help facilitate the recognition of Australian financial service licence holders in CPTPP countries so as to avoid duplicative licensing requirements;
- Guaranteed ability for Australians to transfer specialist staff to offshore branches for extended periods;
- Vietnam has increased its foreign equity cap for ‘strategic’ investors in joint stock commercial banks from 15 to 20 per cent; and
- Malaysia has agreed to remove all foreign equity caps. In addition, Australian insurance providers will be able to offer product liability and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance to Malaysians on a cross-border basis.
Professional, technical and other business services
Australian professional service providers are important contributors to Australia’s services exports, including legal, accounting, engineering, architecture, surveying and urban planning, and research and development services.
Australian exports of professional, technical and other business services to CPTPP countries were valued at $3.1 billion in 2017, which accounted for 31 per cent of total exports of these services (valued at $10.2 billion in 2017).
The CPTPP provides a strong framework of rules and commitments to promote continued growth in Australian exports of professional, technical and other business services. It removes key barriers, provide for more transparent and predictable operating conditions in CPTPP countries, and ensure Australian firms benefit from future market reforms.
CPTPP countries have also agreed to work to foster enhanced recognition of professional qualifications, and improved licensing and recognition arrangements in professional services sectors.
Key CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian exporters of professional, technical and other business services include:
- Mexico, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam have agreed to offer guaranteed access for Australian lawyers to provide legal advice on Australian, international or third party law on a fly-in, fly-out basis;
- Australian lawyers are guaranteed the ability to temporarily work in CPTPP countries, with independent Australian lawyers able to work in Canada and Malaysia without being subject to labour market testing;
- Guaranteed market access arrangements for engineers (including for integrated engineering services), urban planners and architects (including landscape architectural services) in Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile and Mexico;
- Malaysia has agreed to lock in current market access arrangements in the construction and related engineering services sector, and also guaranteed that future market opening of these sectors will be captured as a CPTPP commitment; and
- Australian suppliers are able to bid for government procurement contracts for accounting, auditing and book-keeping services, along with taxation services contracts, in Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam.
Transport and logistics services
As supply chains for the production of many goods become more complex and international in scope, businesses are increasingly looking to outsource elements of their transport and logistics activities to specialist third party providers. The CPTPP provides a framework of rules and commitments that assists many Australian transport and logistics businesses to capitalise on this trend. The CPTPP removes barriers, provides more transparent and predictable operating conditions in CPTPP countries, and captures future market reforms in CPTPP countries.
Australia’s transport and logistics services exports to CPTPP countries were valued at $2.1 billion in 2017, which accounted for 28 per cent of total Australian exports of transport and logistics services (valued at $7.6 billion).
Key CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian exporters of transport and logistics services include:
- Malaysia has agreed to lock in its investment regime for freight transport and guaranteeing that any future market reforms will flow through to Australian providers;
- Vietnam has locked in its current investment regime for road freight transport services and guaranteeing that any future market reforms will flow through to Australian providers;
- Vietnam has locked in its investment regime in aviation (including the current 30 per cent foreign equity limitation) and guaranteeing that any future reforms will flow through to Australian airlines established in the Vietnamese market;
- Japan, Chile and Mexico have guaranteed market access for Australian suppliers of ground-handling services and offering commitments which will provide Australian service suppliers and investors with greater certainty regarding investment conditions in airports and the supply of airport operation services by foreign providers; and
- Simplified customs procedures that will reduce the time taken to clear goods, including allowing advance electronic submission and processing of customs information and allowing goods to be released before the final determination of customs duties.
The CPTPP introduces improvements in the regulatory environments for Australian miners and oil and gas companies seeking to find and develop reserves in the region. Australia’s cutting-edge suppliers of Mining Equipment, Technologies and Services (METS) and oilfield goods and services also stand to benefit from better market access conditions.
Mining and energy exploration efforts are centred on the Asia-Pacific region. The four North and South American members of the CPTPP (Canada, Chile, Mexico and Peru) accounted for an estimated 35 per cent of worldwide exploration budgets in 2017 and Australia a further 14 per cent. Key CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian exporters of mining services include:
- Elimination of Vietnam’s tariffs on butanes, propane and liquefied natural gas within seven years of entry into force and elimination of Vietnam’s 20 per cent tariff on petroleum;
- CPTPP countries, many for the first time, have committed to lock in current access and recent landmark reforms, as well as guaranteeing that future reforms of their investment regimes for mining and energy reserves will automatically flow through to other CPTPP countries;
- Mexico has locked in recent reforms to the energy sector, enabling foreign companies, for the first time, to bid to participate in the exploration, production, processing and refinement of oil and gas;
- For the first time, commitments from Malaysia in relation to the oil and gas sector, providing Australian service suppliers and investors with greater transparency regarding operating conditions;
- Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam have agreed to lock in, for the first time, their investment and local content regimes for oil, gas and power development as well as future reforms. These commitments provide existing and prospective Australian investors with more transparent and predictable operating conditions;
- Brunei Darussalam, Mexico and Vietnam have, for the first time, made commitments guaranteeing access for Australian mining and oilfield goods and services providers to deliver goods, services and technologies to these markets;
- Australian suppliers of mining-related consulting, research and development, engineering, environmental, mining and technical testing and analysis services will now achieve guaranteed access through new commitments from Chile (additional to our bilateral free trade agreement) and Mexico; and
- Australia’s privately-owned mining, oil and gas companies are able to compete on a more level playing field with the large State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that dominate these sectors in some CPTPP countries through the CPTPP’s commitments on SOEs.
In an increasingly affluent South-East Asia, there is growing demand for high quality medical and aged care services. The CPTPP supports the expansion of Australian health exports across the Asia-Pacific.
The CPTPP is consistent with Australia’s existing health laws and policies. As a result, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will not be adversely impacted. The CPTPP Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism includes a suite of provisions protecting the Australian Government’s ability to regulate for public health and other public interest objectives.
Key CPTPP market access outcomes for Australian exporters of health services include:
- Elimination of all remaining duties on medical instruments and devices and Australian exports of medical instruments, devices and pharmaceutical products to CPTPP Parties;
- Commitments from Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam which gives Australian providers of private health and allied health services greater certainty regarding access and operating conditions in these markets;
- New government procurement opportunities to provide health services in Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia;
- Commitments from all CPTPP Parties that allows Australian suppliers to bid for pharmaceutical and medical equipment government procurement contracts; and
- Commitments from all CPTPP Parties in relation to government purchasing by the health department or ministry, including the purchasing undertaken by all public hospitals in Malaysia and 34 hospitals operating as SOEs in Vietnam.
E-commerce and telecommunications
The CPTPP has rules that reflect the fact that the internet is an essential tool for Australian companies doing business in the global economy. The CPTPP does not alter Australia’s broadcasting regime, or the ability of the Australian governments to support Australia’s cultural industries. E-commerce outcomes are consistent with Australia’s regulatory framework, including Australia’s e-health record system and the Privacy Act.
Key e-commerce and telecommunications outcomes include:
- A guarantee not to prevent service suppliers and investors from transferring data across borders where it is part of business activity;
- Businesses will not be forced to build data storage centres, or use local computing services, in CPTPP countries where they wish to conduct business;
- Legal protection for consumers across CPTPP markets to protect privacy, enforce consumer protection rights, and combat ‘spam’ messages;
- Australian software and games will enjoy fair and equal treatment across CPTPP markets, providing new opportunities for Australian exporters of these products. Australian software suppliers will not be required to hand over valuable source code when seeking to import or distribute software in a CPTPP country;
- CPTPP countries have agreed to work cooperatively to promote reasonable international mobile roaming rates. CPTPP countries can enter into arrangements with each other on rates and conditions for wholesale international mobile roaming services; and
- Australian providers stand to benefit from the phasing out of foreign equity limits in Vietnam's telecommunications sector five years after the entry into force of the CPTPP. They are also able to apply to wholly own telecommunications ventures in Malaysia.