Austrade and DFAT to host North Asia Free Trade Agreement seminars

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), in partnership with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is running a series of North Asia Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) seminars across all Australian states and territories.

To kick start the series of free talks, Melbourne-based smalled and medium-size businesses are invited to attend the information seminar on North Asia Free Trade ageements on 2 November in South Yarra.

The seminar is designed to help businesses in the local area of Melbourne to understand how Australia’s free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China can help to grow their business.

The seminar will feature a government panel who can explain the process involved in exporting under the FTAs, including Simon Vogrinec, General Manager of Gaia Skin Naturals, a small business owner who is having success in these key markets. Attendees will hear about market opportunities, access and tariffs, grants and assistance and case studies.

“The free trade agreements have been exciting for us, because they give us market access by reducing some of the tariffs and some of the barriers of entry, exposing us to a bigger marketplace, giving us better cost efficiencies, better economies of scale, and the ability to reach further into untapped markets,” Simon says. “Where the FTAs have come through, what we’ve seen is about a 36 percent increase. It’s quite significant growth for us – just in those market places. To still be experiencing double-digit and triple-digit growth this far into our journey I think is exceptional, because it’s enabled us to grow and enabled our supply chain to grow.”

Officials from the Australian Government will be on hand to discuss the FTAs and provide practical advice. Representatives in attendance include Michael Growder from DFAT, Canberra; Chuyang Liu and Andrew Barnes from Austrade, Melbourne; Craig Malcolm, TradeStart Adviser at Australian Industry Group (Austrade), Melbourne; and John Lochery, AusIndustry, Melbourne.

Nick Nichles, Austrade’s General Manager of Marketing Communications and Free Trade Agreement Program, said the FTAs are providing strong opportunities for Australian exporters across North Asia and the Australian Government wants more Australian businesses to get involved.

“These agreements are opening the door to more than a billion potential new customers and these seminars are aimed to help Australian businesses maximise the opportunities that now exist,” he says. “The feedback we are getting from people who have attended our seminars is extremely positive. Some people came knowing very little about the FTAs but left with ideas and inspiration on how this could work for their business.”

Since March 2015, Austrade and DFAT have delivered more than 58 seminars around Australia with more planned for 2016-17.

The information Melbourne seminar will take place at The Como, 630 Chapel Street, South Yarra from 9am – 11am.

For the full list of dates and locations of other seminars around Australia please visit

Attendees can register at or find out more information by calling Austrade on 13 28 78 or emailing

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