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The Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement has come into effect today, providing businesses with the opportunity to increase trade in goods and services with less investment restrictions.

The Government claims the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) is “the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has concluded” and will create a stronger economic relationship for years to come.

Over 97 per cent of Australia’s exports are said to receive preferential or duty free access with the agreement, which Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb says will particularly benefit beef and agricultural exports.

“From today high tariffs on our beef exports have been immediately cut by around one fifth – with further cuts to come on 1 April – while a range of Australian agricultural exports will enter Japan duty free, including prawns, lobsters, asparagus, cherries, grapes, macadamia nuts and almonds. Duty free quotas on cheese are now in place too,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb said the agreement will also guarantee Australian service suppliers, including those in financial, education and telecommunication sectors, access to the Japanese market.

In a recent interview with Sky News Business, Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said JAEPA will provide Australian small businesses with an opportunity to benefit from over $70 billion in annual two-way trade.

“…A great opportunity, particularly for the food sector in seafood, professional services, telecommunications as well as the traditional areas where we can grow our beef exports, our energy exports, iron-ore and the like – really exciting, delicious opportunities there,” Mr Billson said.

The Small Business Minister said that businesses should not expect immediate benefits from the Trade Agreements with Asia, which includes agreement with China and South Korea, and should instead focus on building relationships.

“…My message to small businesses that I partner with in trying to build opportunities in these new markets is, if you approach these new markets as some kind of summer romance where it will all be spectacular and wonderful and it might be a narrow window, but it will be terrific, that is not the case.  Here it is about building relationships.”

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Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo is the Editor of Dynamic Business and Manager of film &amp; television entertainment site ScreenRealm.com. Follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/gtponders">Twitter</a>.

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