Objective 5.3

Businesses are aware of and use free trade agreement outcomes

Action 5.3B

In progress

The Government will consult business and other stakeholders in relation to free trade agreement negotiations through regular stakeholder outreach.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Government response
Related Action/s

DFAT and Austrade should work with regulators and industry bodies to increase FTA-related outreach and training for the services sector, delivered both in-person and through digital platforms.


Progress to date

The Government remains committed to increasing business awareness and use of FTAs. For example: 

  • DFAT continues to offer bespoke advocacy intended to raise business awareness and use of FTAs, including in relation to services exports;
  • the FTA Portal, a website providing businesses with easy-to-access information about goods and services export opportunities under Australia's FTAs, is being maintained and updated when new FTAs enter into force;
  • detailed online information about FTAs is being maintained and updated where necessary, including factsheets on services-related issues for businesses; and 
  • FTA email inboxes that allow SMEs and other businesses to submit FTA-related queries and have them answered by FTA experts are being maintained.

The Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) on Free Trade Agreement Negotiations provides a forum through which members can exchange views and engage in frank and robust discussion with the Government and senior trade experts on FTAs and the policies that underpin them. The views from the MAC will help inform the Government's trade negotiating agenda.

MAC membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of Australian society, including business and community-based organisations. Individual members are leaders in their fields with an interest in international trade policy. 

There have been four MAC meetings to date. 

In 2021, the Australian Services Roundtable (ASR) has been organising joint domestic industry association events on Australian industry interests in Australia's free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United Kingdom and European Union.

This includes events involving industry counterparts in the UK and EU, such as co-hosting three webinars with UK industry stakeholders and UK government officials. ASR is also planning an event on the services, investment and digital trade aspects of the Australia EU FTA for December 2021. It has also joined the European Australian Business Council in planning a 2022 celebration of the Australia-EU relationship with the EU Delegation.