Home » Maritime » RP shipments to Australia, NZ seen doubling with FTA

PHILIPPINE exports to Australia and New Zealand are expected to double this year following the recent effectivity of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

AANZFTA reduced import tariffs to almost zero, placing all implementing countries, particularly developing ones, on equal footing with their more developed competitors.

Philippine export products that will enjoy almost zero tariff to Australia and New Zealand include tuna, pineapples and fruit juices.

“The AANZFTA is Australia’s largest free trade agreement. It will eliminate tariff and other barriers to trade in goods, services and investment across a region that is home to more than 600 million people and has an annual GDP of $2.7 trillion,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said at a media briefing last week held at the Bureau of Customs.

“One of the most important benefits to come from the agreement is that it will provide businesses with greater certainty and more transparency in doing business in the Philippines and indeed all countries across the region,” Smith explained.

“On the import side, businesses can benefit from lower input costs and consumers across the AANZFTA region also stand to gain through lower retail prices.”

New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Andrew Matheson, for his part, said New Zealand and the Philippines will also work on separate agreements to further enhance the AANZFTA, including a bilateral agreement on trade and environmental cooperation.

In addition, projects focusing on the dairy industry in the Philippines are eyed.

At the moment, Australia corners about 3% of Philippine trade. From 2004 to 2008, trade grew an average of 7.78%.

The top 10 Philippine exports to Australia are fuel oils, electric accumulators, aircraft parts, wiring harnesses for mother vehicles, desiccated coconut, nickel ores and concentrates, uninterruptible power supply, steel belted tires, radio broadcast receivers and lubricating greases.

Philippine trade to New Zealand jumped 12.37% from 2004-2008. The top 10 Philippine exports to that country are fresh bananas, fuel oils, lead acid accumulators, Dessicated coconut, fresh pineapples, Steel Belted tires, carageenan, prepared and preserved pineapples, centrifugal pumps and fresh papaya.

In January 2009, trade with Australia and New Zealand grew by 2,500 metric tons and reached $8 million.

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