Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt will host the 80th free seminar for exporters interested in North Asia markets in Bundoora today to help local businesses access the benefits of Australia's Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with North Asia.

Emilio De Lorso, Director of local Fresh Food business Della Rosa, will talk about how the FTAs help his company sell pizzas into China.

Since the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAPEA) and the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) entered into force, significant and ongoing tariff reductions have provided benefits for many Australian products and services exported to these markets.

"Before the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) came into force, the tariff on pizzas was 10%. It is now down to 4% and will be eliminated on January 1, 2019" said Assistant Minister Pitt.

"A whole range of Australian products now receive preferential access to more than a billion potential customers in China, Japan and Korea thanks to provisions negotiated by the Australian Government."

Bundoora is known for its strong education, training and research presence as well as being a manufacturing hub particularly in bioscience, technology and food and beverage. Businesses in the area are well placed to take advantage of Australia's North Asia FTAs, with some already exporting their products and services such as Della Rosa Traditional Fresh Foods.

Mr De Lorso will join Australian Government experts in trade at the seminar to share his exporting experiences in North Asian markets, including how he has continued to diversify his speciality product to suit the tastes of an international market.

"We were the first company in the region to provide pizzas to China," said Mr De Lorso. "One of the challenges we faced in China was the change of formulation, the change of the content of salt, our product in China needed to be more sweet. Also we found our product had to be more spicy."

More than 3,229 business representatives from small and medium enterprises across Australia have now attended seminars on how to access the benefits of free trade and open up new markets. In 2016-17, 810 business representatives attended 21 seminars held across Australia, with 18 held in regional areas.

The seminars have been hosted by the Hon Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Small Business.

Other speakers include: Michael Dean, FTA Outreach Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Tim Carroll, State Director, Victoria, Austrade;  Christina Goodman, Trade Commissioner,  Austrade Chengdu and Craig Malcolm, TradeStart Adviser, Ai Group.

Media enquiries

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