Free trade agreements signed or concluded (but not yet in force)
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
RCEP was signed on 15 November 2020 by Trade Ministers, immediately after the 4th RCEP Leaders’ Summit (held virtually). RCEP covers 15 Indo-Pacific countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
RCEP is a regional free trade agreement among 15 countries that will deliver opportunities for greater integration of regional supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region. RCEP brings key regional players into a predictable, rules-based trading and investment environment that will benefit Australian industry exporting and importing in the region. Further information on the agreement is available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus)
PACER Plus is a comprehensive FTA covering goods, services and investment. Negotiations on PACER Plus commenced in 2009 and concluded in Brisbane on 20 April 2017. The agreement opened for signature on 14 June 2017, and has been signed by Australia, New Zealand and nine Pacific island countries (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu). Negotiating parties have reviewed and legally verified the text of the Agreement. Australia has completed its internal requirements for entry into force of PACER Plus. Australia's primary objective with PACER Plus is a more sustainable and prosperous Pacific. The full text of the agreement and related documents are now available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Free trade agreements under negotiation
Australia-European Union (EU) FTA
Australia and the EU launched negotiations for an FTA on 18 June 2018. As a bloc, the EU is Australia's second largest trading partner, third largest export destination, and second largest services market. Through the Australia-European Union FTA, Australia is seeking to improve market access for Australian agricultural and industrial products, and reduce barriers to trade and costs through modern customs, rules of origin and trade facilitation procedures.
Consistent with its approach toward other FTA partners, the EU has identified the protection of geographical indications (GIs) as one of its key objectives in the negotiations.
The Australian Government has made no commitment to protect EU GIs and has made clear it will only consider doing so if the overall FTA deal is good enough for Australia, including by delivering on Australia’s agricultural market access interests.
Public Consultation now open on a possible new Geographical Indications system.
Provide your feedback on a Public possible new Geographical Indications system
The Australian Government is publicly consulting on the parameters of a potential GI framework that could be used to protect GIs in Australia.
Consultations, running from 4 September to 30 November 2020, will ensure the development of any possible framework is done in a way that best serves Australian interests, and is designed around input from Australian companies, industries and consumers.
This consultation process does not mean the Australian Government has agreed, or will agree, to make any changes to its existing GI regulatory framework or policy.
Read more about the consultations, go to the IP Australia website.
The Australian Government ran a public objections process to seek views on the list of product names the EU has asked Australia to protect. Submissions closed on 13 November 2019. For more information, see the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
United Kingdom (UK)
Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) on 17 June 2020. The UK is Australia’s 7th largest trading partner and the 2nd largest source of foreign direct investment. Through the Australia-UK FTA, Australia is seeking to improve market access for Australian agricultural products, and remove barriers to trade in goods through modernising the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment. For more information, go to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement
Australia and the Pacific Alliance launched negotiations for an FTA on 30 June 2017. The Pacific Alliance is a Latin American trade grouping made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. A Pacific Alliance FTA would enable Australian businesses to access opportunities in this emerging and dynamic region, which combined, is the world’s 8th largest economy and represents 35% of Latin America’s nominal GDP. It would also strengthen our economic relationship with the region and help facilitate value chains between the Americas and Asia. Further information on the FTA and Australia’s relationship with the Pacific Alliance countries is available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IA-CECA)
Australia and India launched negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in May 2011. There have been 9 rounds of negotiations, the most recent of which was held in September 2015. Agriculture related issues are still to be discussed in detail. Further information is available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement (GCC-Australia FTA)
FTA negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, commenced in July 2007. To date, there have been 4 rounds of GCC-Australia FTA negotiations, with the last one held in June 2009. Negotiations remain on hold while the GCC reviews its trade agreement policies. The agreement would provide an opportunity to address a range of tariff and non-tariff measures related to our agricultural exports. Further information is available at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.