Japan and Australia are finalizing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed in July this year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who began discussing it during his previous stint as premier in 2007, has been pushing for the conclusion of the agreement.
Australia has been negotiating with other countries for free-trade agreements, including Japan, and a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that, “negotiations with Japan are now well advanced.” Being the second largest source of good and services, the FTA is expected to be a “very strategic agreement” between the two nations, said Yasonuri Nakayama, Deputy Director-General for International Trade Police at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
With General Motors deciding to stop production in Australia, largely due to the small market, and its signed FTA with South Korea, the central government is now banking on Toyota. Toyota’s production is largely being exported and looking at Australia to do so. Australia’s FTA with South Korea is estimated to boost annual trade between the two nations by 5 billion Australian dollars (US$ 4.4 billion). Japan is hoping that the FTA between their nation and Australia will follow the suit of South Korea. “Japan sought no less favorable treatment than you accord other countries,” said Nakayama.
[via Business Insider]