In the face of growing world-wide protectionism, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) was among business representatives from across Asia that came together to advocate for trade liberalisation to the negotiators of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which, when signed, will be the largest trading bloc in the world, covering 30 per cent of global trade.

Ai Group has been active in the East Asia Business Council’s RCEP working group, representing the interests of members to improve the trading environment in the region.

Ai Group’s National Manager – Business and International Advisory Services, Louise McGrath, was at the dialogue advocating for improved Trade Facilitation rules and removing much of the red tape associated with export.

“While there is a lot of attention given to tariff reductions, halving trade facilitation costs could deliver nearly ten times the benefit of halving tariffs. Among the many ways to enable trade, reforming border administration requires relatively little money and can be done quickly. Unlike tariffs, which do provide revenue for governments, all the resources spent on overcoming administrative barriers are lost, and borne largely by companies,” Ms McGrath said.

The EABC RCEP Business Stakeholders’ Consultations & Dialogue with the RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee was held on Monday, 23 July 2018, in Bangkok.

Source: Ai Group