Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key contributors to Australian employment and economic growth, and contributors to Australian goods and services exports. In 2016-17, Australian small and medium businesses generated over $1.8 trillion in sales and employed over 7.4 million Australians.
Establishing export markets is often a challenging task for SMEs. The CPTPP recognises this by incorporating outcomes that help make this task easier in the CPTPP region. Outcomes include:
- elimination of tariffs and reduction in non-tariff barriers in Asia-Pacific export markets;
- common and transparent trade and investment rules between 11 Asia-Pacific countries assisting in the reduction of administration costs;
- rules that encourage SME participation in government procurement opportunities in all CPTPP countries, including the requirement for suppliers to have access to an independent review body when procurement processes do not comply with the rules;
- provisions requiring CPTPP Parties to establish and maintain a website containing information about all aspects of the CPTPP. CPTPP Parties are also required to provide links to the equivalent websites of all other CPTPP Parties;
- commitments addressing a number of 21st century trade and investment issues, including rules against corruption; reducing unfair competition by State-Owned Enterprises; and ensuring a liberalised environment for electronic commerce; and
- longer term integration benefits facilitating better access to regional supply chains for goods and services (also known as Global Value Chains).
With an emphasis on promoting the continued growth and development of SMEs, CPTPP Parties will also cooperate to:
- assist SMEs to take advantage of the CPTPP;
- exchange experiences on best practices to support SME exporters;
- explore opportunities for capacity building opportunities to enhance SME export counselling, assistance and training programs; and
- facilitate the development of programs to assist SMEs to participate in, and contribute to, global value chains.