Trade opportunities

With trade tensions between the US and China still in focus, we should not lose sight of the many ways trade pacts are opening up new opportunities for companies.

Less than a quarter of firms globally make full use of the many free-trade agreements signed in the past two decades. While compliance costs and regulatory impediments may contribute to low take-up, in other cases this is simply due to a lack of awareness of the agreements and how to navigate their requirements.

Yet, current generation trade deals include provisions to improve transparency and streamline burdens on businesses. For example, one "gold standard" agreement includes special chapters on customs facilitation and support for small and medium-sized businesses. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) offers businesses in member countries enhanced access to 500 million consumers in markets that collectively comprise 13 per cent of global output. For the 11 Pacific Basin countries who have signed up to the CPTPP, tariffs on 95 per cent of goods will be ultimately eliminated.

Are you making the most of free trade agreements?

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