The Australian APEC Study Centre recently hosted a briefing lunch focused on business and trade opportunities for Australian ICT and Creative Services sectors.
In order to strengthen our ties with regional partners and cement our foundation for the next phase of Australia’s economic outlook, the Australian Government, in 2015, entered into three comprehensive bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that have unlocked significant economic opportunities in some of Australia’s largest export markets for both goods and services.
On the 6 th of September, The Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University hosted a Briefing Lunch on the Business and Trade Opportunities that have been unlocked by The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) and the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
The Briefing Lunch focused on the ICT and Creative Services sectors highlighting to Australian businesses that there is huge potential to expand in these fast-growing Asian markets.
On the day, Kristen Bondietti, Principal Trade Consultant at ITS Global (Asia Pacific) presented her analysis of these FTAs and the benefits these markets hold for ICT and Creative Services providers.
Among her findings, Kristen outlined that “Australian exports of ICT goods and services were just over AUD7bn in 2015/16, or just over 10% of all services exports and that ICT services exports are growing faster (14.3% 5 year trend) than the average rate across all services (6.3%) and faster than exports of ICT goods (10.7%).
Joining Kristen was Ruth Barker, from the International Engagement Division of Creative Victoria, a branch within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources. Ruth shared
Creative Victoria’s work in championing, supporting and growing Victoria’s creative industries and the huge contribution they make to the state.
Further, Colin Griffith & Mitchell Harris from Data61, the CSIRO’s data innovation group, discussed the FTA Portal which they designed and developed collaboratively with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The FTA Portal allows businesses and individuals to search for their products and obtain product codes relating to specific FTAs. It provides accurate information about tariffs under FTAs, eligibility for FTAs and processes around certification.
Businesses in the room were pleased to learn that Data61 are developing further updates for the Portal to include a Services aspect to the platform which will be launched in 2018.
Throughout these fast-growing North Asian markets there is a strong appetite for Australian ICT and Creative Services, thus presenting huge potential for local service providers.
This event was an initiative supported through Austrade’s Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grant, which was established to assist Australian small and medium-sized enterprises and various stakeholders in understanding how to use and access FTAs with Korea, Japan and China.
Story: John Farrugia