Gold Coast hosts high level international trade talks

Gold Coast is hosting international free trade talks between Australia and four Latin American nations which have been identified as being an "underexposed" market for local exporters.

Australia will host the second round of Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement negotiations from today until Friday with representatives Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

The talks are an extension of negotiations which began last June.

Australia already has separate free trade deals with Chile and Peru and will have Mexico covered as well when the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement comes into force this year.

"The Pacific Alliance trading bloc remains an under-explored market for Australian exporters; and Australia's competitive access to the economies in this bloc has been limited by high tariffs and barriers," says Australia's Trade Minister Steve Ciobo.

Ciobo says the Federal Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda to allow Australian exporters access to new markets and new export opportunities.

"A comprehensive and high-quality FTA will open the door to new and rapidly growing markets for Australian businesses, putting our exporters on the same footing with the United States, the European Union and Canada who all have FTAs that give them preferential access.

"This is also an opportunity to build on our negotiating experience with the recently concluded Peru-Australia FTA and the Australia-Chile FTA, to deliver enhanced outcomes in targeted areas quickly.

"The upcoming round will be focused on improving access across Pacific Alliance countries for Australian goods, investment and services.

"Our collective activities will complement ongoing joint efforts to bring the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) into force."

Ben Hall - Business News Australia - 29 Jan 2018


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