14 December 2017
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) celebrates its third birthday this week and Gold Coast exporters will be celebrating.
Local MP and Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo said three years on, tariffs continue to fall under KAFTA as exports continue to grow.
“I’m pleased that Gold Coast exporters continue to benefit under KAFTA,” Mr Ciobo said.
“The landmark agreement has strengthened our trade and investment relationship with the Republic of Korea and put our exporters in pole position to capitalise on a growing market that wants Australian goods and services.”
Gold Coast-based BJP Laboratories is one of Australia’s leading contract complementary medicine manufacturers for some of the country’s biggest pharmacy companies, including Blackmores and Swisse.
BJP Laboratories Executive Ms Esti Siebert said the Free Trade Agreements are the main reason their business has boomed.
“We began contract manufacturing therapeutic goods in 2008 as a family run business with 3 staff members and over the years it has grown exponentially to currently employing around 150 people,” Ms Siebert said.
“Over the last 24 months we have increased our staff, moved into a brand new state of the art manufacturing facility and also started our own analytical laboratory.
“This means we can manage our increased contract business and potential growth in exporting our own product.”
Mr Ciobo said local products are in high demand under KAFTA, boosting exports and creating new jobs.
“The demand KAFTA has created for our medical and vitamin products is creating new jobs and driving economic growth,” said Mr Ciobo.
“Businesses are expanding and employing more people to keep up with the demand KAFTA is creating.”
A fifth round of KAFTA tariff cuts will occur on 1 January 2018, delivering yet another boost for local exporters.
“These further tariff cuts mean Gold Coast exporters have an advantage over their international competitors,” Mr Ciobo said.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda and more agreements like KAFTA to create new opportunities for our exporters.
“The more they’re exporting from the Gold Coast the more local jobs there will be.”