AustCham and NFF Call for Finalisation of FTA Talks
Stalled FTA Negotiations Affecting Bilateral Trade and Investment
On March 7 AustCham Korea hosted a Free Trade Breakfast Forum to provide an update to members on the progress of the Korea-Australia FTA negotiations.
The Forum was held at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel with approximately 80 participants attending the event.
The Forum was addressed by Prof. Kim Heung Cheong, Senior Research Fellow and Director at the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy and Mr. Jock Laurie, President of the National Farmers Federation.
Prof. Kim’s presentation outlined the benefits of FTAs for Korean companies while Mr Laurie gave an Australian perspective on how important the Korea-Australia FTA is for the agriculture sector in Australia.
Negotiations on the Australia-Korea FTA commenced in 2009 and made steady progress until disagreements arose over the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause and the reduction of tariffs for certain products.
Until the impasse on these issues is resolved, Korean consumers face paying higher prices for Australia’s clean agricultural products while the Australian agriculture industry struggles to remain competitive in the Korean market.
Prof. Kim and Mr Laurie explained the clear benefits of concluding an FTA including improved trade, lowering of business costs and removal of remaining investment hurdles.
Members were particularly interested to hear the reasons behind the delayed FTA negotiations and were engaged in a robust question & answer session.
The Forum was a great success thanks to the support of all the members who attended.
AustCham’s FTA Advisory Committee is actively engaged in raising the profile of the Korea-Australia FTA and encouraging both governments to re-start the stalled negotiations and conclude the agreement.
If you are interested to join the FTA Advisory Committee or hear more about the Australia-Korea FTA, please contact Jieseon Kim, Executive Director (email@example.com ) for more information.