Deepening Economic Ties with our ASEAN Partners

21 August 2023


Deepening Economic Ties with our ASEAN Partners


The Australian Government is proud to announce the upgrading of the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).


Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts signed the Second Protocol to Amend the Agreement, in the margins of the 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers – Closer Economic Relations Consultation meeting today in Semarang, Indonesia.


This important development modernises AANZFTA to ensure it continues to deliver benefits for businesses, workers and consumers in Australia and our region.


Under the upgrade, AANZFTA will include additional commitments on services and investment that will benefit Australian exporters and investors. It will also strengthen supply chain resilience and digital technology adoption.


The agreement will also include key commitments on sustainable and inclusive trade, facilitating enhanced cooperation on environmental protection, green economy, labour issues, and women’s economic empowerment.


Since it first entered into force in 2010, AANZFTA has been the central pillar of Australia’s trade and investment relationship with ASEAN members.


With of a population over 660 million, ASEAN is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Its GDP has grown by 44 per cent since 2010 when AANZFTA entered into force (current GDP is USD3.6 trillion), and this growth is expected to continue over the next decade plus.


Collectively, trade with ASEAN members accounts for more than 14.3 per cent of Australia’s overall trade. The region is also a significant consumer of Australia’s energy, agricultural products, minerals and education.


The next step involves AANZFTA members completing their respective domestic procedures to ratify the upgrade, hopefully to enable entry into force in 2024. 


For Australia, this means following the treaty-making process, which involves the tabling of the AANZFTA upgrade in both Houses of Parliament for consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT).  Interested parties will have an opportunity to make written submissions as part of the JSCOT review.