South Australia has placed itself in prime position to reap the benefits of the Australia/UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) in discussions with the Minister of State and Australian High Commissioner in London today.
State Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion met United Kingdom Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade the Rt Hon Nigel Huddleston MP, ahead of the A-UKFTA coming into effect on 31 May.
Minister Champion’s meeting with the Minister for State follows Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s meeting – in which the A-UKFTA was described as “one of the best [free trade agreements] Australia has ever done” - with United Kingdom Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, last Friday, to finalise the date start date for the A-UKFTA.
Minister Huddleston played a significant part in establishing the current Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the UK and the discussion is hoped to pave the way for importation of South Australian meat, wine, fish and other premium produce into the United Kingdom.
Under the A-UKFTA, South Australian businesses will have access to a market of over 68 million people in the UK, providing a valuable opportunity to expand exports and create new jobs across a range of sectors.
The A-UKFTA also includes provision to support new opportunities for UK citizens to live and work in Australia under the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP). This will help support deeper connections for our skills needs in critical sectors such as defence and hi-tech.
Provisions will also apply to intellectual property, e-commerce, and investment protection, to provide certainty and security for businesses operating in both countries.
The value of goods exported to the United Kingdom form South Australian trade to the for the year ending March 2023, exceeded $380 million, with the United Kingdom ranked fourth in Foreign Direct Investment in the period from 2003-2022.
Minister Champion also met with Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, the Hon Stephen Smith – a former Federal Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister – who is playing an important in role in the AUKUS relationship as a central coordinator for the whole-of-Australia approach to engage with the UK Government and defence sector which will yield significant benefit for South Australia.