Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt will host a seminar in Devonport tomorrow, Wednesday, 23 August, to help local businesses access the benefits of Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with North Asia.

Master Distiller and General Manager of Hellyers Road Distillery, Mark Littler, will talk about how FTAs have given the company’s whisky sales a boost in China and are paving the way for sales to Korea.

Hellyers Road Distillery exports to more than 20 countries and has become Australia’s biggest-selling locally crafted whisky.

“Before the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) came into force, the tariff on whisky was 10%. It is now down to 4% and will be eliminated in January 2019. The tariff on Australian whisky sold into Korea has dropped from 20% to 12% before it too is eliminated,” 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.”

Devonport is known for its strong agriculture, aquaculture, engineering, mining and forestry industries.

Businesses in the area are well placed to take advantage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAPEA) and the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

Wednesday’s seminar is part of a series being held all around Australia to help businesses access the competitive advantage Australia’s North Asia FTAs can provide them.

Following the FTA seminar, Assistant Minister Pitt will be opening ABARES – Devonport Regional Outlook Conference at 9am.

The Regional Outlook conference provides an opportunity for government agencies and industry organisations to exchange ideas and information with farmers, businesses and local government.

Other officials from the Australian Government who will give practical advice on exporting at the FTA seminar include Ollie Shugg, Austrade’s State Director for Tasmania; Sally Phillips, Manager of Austrade’s Free Trade Agreements Program; Rhiannon Stanley, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade FTA Outreach Unit; Sally Chandler, International Trade Adviser, TradeStart; and Geoff Atkinson, State Manager Tasmania, AusIndustry.

Last week, Mr Pitt also launched a video series to accompany the seminars, providing an additional information channel for business.

View the FTA videos here.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 4122
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555