The Australian Services Roundtable (ASR) congratulates the governments of both Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) for concluding a comprehensive and cutting-edge Free Trade Agreement and in record time.
James Angus Bond, ASR President congratulated Australia’s Minister for Trade, Hon. Dan Tehan, for being the first Trade Minister to sign a bilateral trade deal with the UK, since the BREXIT deal with the European Union (EU). “This agreement”, he said, “is also the first FTA to include a chapter on Innovation. This is something which ASR helped champion; we see collaborative entrepreneurial innovation as vital to Australia’s ongoing digital transformation and competitiveness of our digital services exports.”
“This deal is good for both economies”, said Bond, “and especially good for the services sector, which is set to see an expansion in bilateral trade and investment flows. For financial services, the UK is already a dominant two-way trading partner for Australia and services stakeholders in both economies see room for growth.”
“On digital trade”, he added, “important markers are laid that will help take the UK into CPTPP and signal directions for both countries into an Indo-Pacific Regional Digital Trade Agreement. Services industries, which are increasingly trading online, particularly welcome the outcome on cross-border data flows. This asserts the principle of free flow of data while at the same time helping to strengthen trust in the online business environment especially for online data protection.” James Bond noted “Importantly this agreement points the way to potential outcomes also in Australia’s negotiations with the EU, and to potential outcomes in the WTO negotiations on E-Commerce.”
ASR thanks the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for working overtime to deliver a such a positive trade liberalisation outcome in record time. ASR has been a strong advocate for these negotiations and has taken the opportunity to reinforce relationships with UK counterparts in the process.
“We are confident that together we can now make an impact in a broader regional and global arena,” said the ASR President. “Nothing is more critical to our mutual post-pandemic economic recovery than openness to international business. This is a good start for 2022”.