Australia and New Zealand have signed a Free Trade Agreement, allowing the country’s economic relationship to develop, Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitchell Hooke said.
According to Hooke, the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was an important milestone for Australian trade and investment and a tangible example of the Federal Government’s laudable commitment to free trade.
“Critically, the signing of the agreement in the midst of the global economic turmoil sends an important signal to the major world economies. It reinforces the crucial message that any backsliding on free trade towards protectionism would be a disaster — serving only to deepen and prolong the current crisis and must be resisted,” Hooke said.
“In a globalised world, the economic vitality of countries is linked through trade and investment and it is crucial for all nations to maintain open markets to help the global economy recover and return to a path of growth.”
“Trade must be allowed to play its essential role in the concerted policy response to the global financial and economic crisis. The signing of this agreement at this time supports this important message.”
“Australia’s minerals exports to ASEAN were estimated at about $1 billion in 2007-08 and while, generally, minerals tariffs are not high it is pleasing that virtually all these tariffs will be bound at zero on entry into force of the agreement or phased down to zero over the next several years.”