Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, today addressed Queensland businesses at a seminar in Brisbane focused on benefits and opportunities for the food and beverage industry through the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

Austrade is coordinating seminars across the country to raise awareness about the benefits of Australia’s new free trade agreements, working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other key partners such as Trade and Investment Queensland.

Assistant Minister Pitt said the free trade agreement agenda was a key part of the Government's efforts to open up markets abroad and expand employment opportunities at home.

"The trifecta of FTAs with the key north Asian markets of China, Japan and Korea, has resulted in practical benefits for export products, including foods and beverages,” Assistant Minister Pitt said.

“The successful implementation of these FTAs represents a major milestone in Australia’s international trading history.

“In 2015, these economies together purchased just over $150 billion of our goods and services exports. Korea is our fourth largest trading partner and a sophisticated economy where Australia’s products and services can make significant inroads.”

Australia’s food and beverage sector is creative, innovative, and viewed in overseas markets as high quality and safe.

Businesses attending today’s seminar demonstrated strong interest in the incredible opportunities to expand into the dynamic region to Australia’s north.

“I know just how critical trade, tourism and investment is for our economic future,” Assistant Minister Pitt said.

“That is why we’re helping Australian firms make the leap into international business. Minister Steven Ciobo and I are committed to continuing progress of the Government’s trade agenda and helping Australian business get out into the global marketplace.

“Australian businesses have delivered outstanding outcomes from the opportunities our existing trade deals have provided but we are not resting on our laurels.

“We believe the proportion of Australian employment derived from international trade must continue to rise, and it will rise as we increase our trade access across the globe.

“This all adds up to growth and new jobs: for today, for tomorrow, and for generations to come.”

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