Small business welcomes new free trade agreement with China
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says the State economy will reap enormous benefits from the new China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the export community would be delighted after the Senate passed the Customs Amendment Bill 2015 and the complementary Customs Tariff Amendment Bill 2015, following House of Representatives’ approval in October.
“The bilateral trade agreement with Queensland’s largest trading partner will deliver a significant boost for Queensland’s minerals, textiles, tourism and education export industries, and the State’s economy more broadly,” he said.
“Queensland’s minerals, textiles, tourism and education sectors will be the immediate beneficiaries of the elimination of tariffs on key exports, giving local businesses a head start in competitive international markets.
“The agreement is good for our economy, good for Queensland jobs, and good for our consumers.”
Mr Behrens said the agreement unlocked China’s high import barriers and gave Queensland businesses preferred status and a significant head-start.
“There will be many of our competitors who will be looking on with envy at this agreement,” he said.
In 2014-15, Queensland’s exports to China were valued at $11.4 billion, representing one quarter of Queensland’s total exports and 14.1 per cent of Australia’s total exports to China.
“As the largest export market for Queensland’s commodities, a bilateral free trade agreement between China and Australia means greater opportunity for Queensland exporters, giving many Queensland producers a significant competitive advantage,” he said.
“Liberalising agreements such as ChAFTA work to reduce barriers to trade, thereby helping industries access new markets and widen the pool of purchasers of their products.
“This not only benefits Queensland exporters, but has the effect of driving down costs for consumers as imports become cheaper as China is our State’s largest import source.”
Mr Behrens said small business would welcome the breakthrough in Canberra.
“We believe the Federal Government’s free trade agenda will no doubt strengthen Queensland’s economy by driving greater growth and prosperity through key economic partnerships.
“The trade agreement will unquestionably deepen and broaden our relationship with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”