I will host a seminar in Mount Isa this Thursday (8 November 2018) to help local businesses understand how Australia's Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) can benefit them.

The free event will begin at 7.30am at The Red Earth Hotel, and I urge all local exporters or businesses with an interest in exporting to come along.

Among the speakers providing practical exporting advice will be representatives from Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), AusIndustry and Tradestart.

Australia's FTAs with major trading partners such as China, Japan and Korea provide significant advantages for Australian exports, including many of those produced in the Mount Isa region such as minerals, mining services and beef.

Mining products and services also enjoy marked advantages under current FTAs, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) and the newly signed Peru-Australia FTA (PAFTA).

Australia's ratification of the TPP-11 last week means the agreement will enter into force on 30 December, delivering a tariff cut for Australian exporters in markets such as Canada and Mexico on entry into force, and another tariff cut on 1 January 2019.  In the case of Japan, this second round of tariff cuts will occur on 1 April 2019.

The TPP-11 and PAFTA will lock in tariffs at zero for Australian minerals, petroleum and LNG.  The TPP-11 will also improve the regulatory environment for Australian miners and oil and gas companies exploring or developing reserves in the region, which includes Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.

As our FTAs reduce barriers to trade, overseas markets become more accessible for local companies that might not previously have considered exporting.  The Government has an active and ambitious agenda that includes the negotiation and implementation of new FTAs that will substantially increase Australian export opportunities over time.

With its thriving mineral and agricultural industries, the Mount Isa economy is well placed to exploit export opportunities.

Attendees can register for the 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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