The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) has officially taken effect today, marking a significant milestone in bilateral trade relations between the two nations.
Described as a gold standard trade deal by Senator the Hon. Don Farrell – Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism, the A-UKFTA is set to bring numerous benefits to Australians across various sectors, including manufacturers, workers, farmers, businesses, innovators, families, and students.
With over $21 billion worth of two-way trade, The United Kingdom holds a crucial position as one of Australia’s major trading partners. In 2022, the two countries engaged in two-way goods trade worth $10 billion, while two-way services trade amounted to over $11 billion in 2021-22, solidifying the UK’s position as Australia’s second-largest services trading partner.
Under the agreement, over 99% of Australian goods will enter the UK tariff-free which means UK buyers and consumers can more easily access Australia’s premium products and services.
Furthermore, the agreement eliminates UK tariffs on Australian industrial goods like auto parts, electrical equipment, and fashion items. Australian agricultural products, including beef and sheep meat, sugar, and dairy products, will benefit from duty-free transitional quotas, with the ultimate goal of eliminating all tariffs.
From the perspective of Australian consumers, tariffs on 98 percent of UK imports to Australia have been eliminated, with the remaining tariffs set to be phased out within six years.
It’s not all about trade; the agreement also strengthens the people-to-people links between Australia and the UK. There will be more opportunities for people to live and work in each country, with easy access to inter-company job transfers, new visa pathways for innovators and expanded eligibility criteria for working-holiday makers.
Notably, the UK is Australia’s second-largest source of investment, surpassing $1 trillion in 2022. The A-UKFTA includes modern investment provisions to promote further two-way growth.
To help provide practical guidance and leverage the opportunities, the Chamber will conduct a 3-part ‘FTA Utilisation’ event series, planned to start in late June. This informative event series aims to support businesses in accessing the benefits of the A-UKFTA.
Stay tuned for more information on the ‘FTA Utilisation Series’, which will soon be released.
Australian businesses seeking to enter or expand into the UK market can find valuable resources and support with Austrade.
Read Senator the Hon. Don Farrell – Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism’s statement here.
Senator the Hon. Don Farrell – Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism describes the UK trade deal as a significant win for young Australians here.