I will host a seminar in Maroochydore on Wednesday 8 August to help local businesses understand how Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) can benefit them.

The free event will begin at 10am at the Maroochy RSL, and I urge all local exporters or potential exporters in the Sunshine Coast region to come along.

Among the speakers will be Ted O’Brien MP, the Federal Member for Fairfax and Rob Eustace, Business Development Export Sales Manager from the Buderim Group, who will discuss the company’s experience exporting into FTA markets.

Representatives from Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), AusIndustry, Efic and Tradestart will also provide practical exporting advice.

Australia’s FTAs with markets like China, Japan and Korea provide significant and ongoing advantages for Australian goods and services.

Buderim’s non-alcoholic ginger beer and crystallised ginger exports to Japan, for example, previously attracted tariffs of 13.4 and 18 per cent respectively.

Under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, the tariff for ginger beer has been reduced to 7.3 per cent, and crystallised ginger tariffs were eliminated when the agreement entered into force.

As our FTAs reduce barriers to trade over time, markets become more accessible for local companies that might not previously have considered exporting.

The Sunshine Coast economy is well placed to exploit many of these new opportunities.

Austrade and DFAT are running a series of FTAs seminars across all Australian states and territories. Since March 2015, over 100 seminars have been delivered around Australia.

Attendees can register for the Sunshine Coast seminar at austrade.gov.au/ftaseminars or find out more information by calling Austrade on 13 28 78 or emailing fta@austrade.gov.au

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