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Opportunities for South Australians to improve access to Japan's market

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said today South Australian exporters have an opportunity to look at new ways to benefit from improved access to Japan’s market.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said exporters should seize the opportunities presented by the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement signed this week during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic visit to Australia.

The Economic Partnership, the most liberalising trade agreement to be concluded between Australia and Japan, provides preferential access for Australian exports. Details of the agreement can be found online at www.dfat.gov.au/fta/jaepa  

The partnership agreement will come into force after consideration by the Commonwealth Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and then ratified by the parliaments of both countries.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said Japan with a population of 127 million people and an economy climbing towards $5 trillion provides scope for South Australia to substantially increase trade.

“Even before the agreement, South Australia’s exports to Japan grew to $615.5 million in the year to May 2014 to comprise 5% of our total outbound trade,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“Once this new market access agreement is ratified by Australia and Japan it will provide our exporters with an opportunity to improve on that pace of growth.

“I want to work with our agricultural sector, resources, winemakers, advanced manufacturers and services sector to find ways we can use this agreement to better target Japan’s market.

“Being able to enter the market at a more competitive price is just part of the trade story with Japan. The other part is being able to supply niche, high value goods and services that are increasingly in demand in Japan.

“This Government wants to work with our exporters to hone our advantage and promote South Australia to Japanese consumers as a safe and secure source of high-quality exports.

“Premium wine and bulk barley are just two areas that can benefit from the greater market access and lower tariff regime.

“But there is also scope to improve exports of our aquaculture and advanced manufactures as well as some of our service industries such as education, legal and financial services.”

The most recent annual trade figures available show South Australia’s key export items to Japan comprise:

  • Frozen tuna $124.5 million
  • Petroleum $93.7 million
  • Bulk barley, uranium and other confidential items $82.2 million
  • Hay and alfalfa $46.6 million
  • Boneless beef $33.0 million
  • Canola $32.2 million
  • Chilled tuna $27.3 million
  • Citrus $15.1 million
  • Animal Feed $14.5 million
Enquiries about the economic partnership agreement can be directed to DFAT by email at JapanEPA@dfat.gov.au or by telephone through the DFAT switchboard on 02 6261 1111.

The South Australian Government, through the Department of State Development, provides assistance to South Australian companies exporting overseas through its partnership with Austrade to deliver the TradeStart Program.

Funding is also available for eligible companies to prepare for export. Eligible activities include market intelligence, in-market support, participation in trade exhibitions and marketing material.

Companies are encouraged to visit http://www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/trade/tradestart_assistance and discuss their individual needs with a TradeStart Adviser in their region.