M’sia-Australia FTA to be implemented next month


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (Mafta) will come into effect on January 1, 2013.

The agreement was signed on May 22, 2012, after 11 round of negotiations, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) said in a statement here yesterday.

The scope of commitments under Mafta provided a more liberal and predictable operating environment for the business community of both countries, it said.

Under Mafta, Malaysia would progressively reduce or eliminate tariffs on an agreed list of industrial and agricultural products.

Most of the tariff reduction or elimination would be undertaken on January 1, 2013, and subsequently on January 1 every year until 2019.

Mafta would benefit Malaysian exporters as Australia would eliminate 100 per cent of its import duties next month.

“This is the first FTA under which Malaysia will be obtaining immediate tariff elimination on all products from an FTA partner,” said Miti.

“In addition to complementing the Asean-Australia-New Zealand FTA, Mafta will open up new market opportunities for both countries and enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries,” it added.

Under Mafta, Australia would allow Malaysians to wholly-own operations in professional sectors such as legal, accounting, architecture, taxation, dental, veterinary, engineering, urban planning, landscape architecture and management consulting services. — Bernama