January 16, 2015

Australian businesses to win out of JAEPA

Thanks to the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), there are now new opportunities for Australian businesses to move into Japan. NAB's Kohei Tsushima explains how those in agribusiness, financial services, health and education are the most likely to benefit.

Australian businesses in agribusiness, financial services, health and education are the most likely to benefit from the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), which came into effect yesterday.

With Japan still Australia’s second largest trading partner and one of Australia’s largest export markets, National Australia Bank General Manager, Japan, Kohei Tsushima says that the commencement of JAEPA is exciting for Australian business.

“More markets open for Australian business means more jobs in Australia,” Mr Tsushima said.

“JAEPA sends a clear message to Japanese investors that Australia is an attractive investment destination.

“For Australian businesses, the key is to success in Japan is to build strong relationships and have a consistent strategy. It might take time to build a relationship, but once that relationship is built, Japanese companies work very hard to ensure that both parties benefit.”

A range of agribusinesses are set to benefit from JAEPA with the tariff on frozen beef tariff, for example, set to drop for Australian beef from 38.5% to 30.5%.

“Australian frozen beef exporters will now have a competitive advantage as compared to US farmers who will continue to face higher tariffs.

“NAB also expects more Japanese companies to invest in upstream agribusiness in Australia. We’ve already seen the likes of Ito En, Kagome and Saizeriya invest in agribusinesses in Australia, and we expect to see more of these types of investments from large Japanese companies over time.”

According to Mr Tsushima, Australia’s financial services, health and education sectors are also likely to benefit from JAEPA.

“In the past, investment by Australian companies into Japan has been relatively low. However, with the JAEPA, there are now new opportunities for Australian businesses to move into Japan.

“The expertise of Australia’s world-class superannuation system, for example, could be exported to Japan.

“Australia is also well positioned to provide Japan expert advice on possible privatisations of Japanese infrastructure, such as airports and toll roads, which are still largely government-owned.

“Many Japanese people just aren’t aware of the sophistication and advancement of the Australian health and education sectors, and this is where building new relationships into Japan and marketing campaigns can make a difference. “

JAEPA enters into force on 15 January 2015, following an exchange of notes by Australia and Japan on 16 December 2014, certifying that both Parties have completed their domestic processes.

The agreement will provide valuable preferential access for Australia’s exports and is by far the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has ever concluded.

NAB opened its first office in Japan in 1969 and today has offices in both Tokyo and Osaka. NAB’s approach in Asia is relationship-driven, supporting Australian business in Asia and Asian business in Australia. Our 500 people in Asia focus on the banking activities arising from the business, trade, investment and people flows between Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

Further information about NAB’s work in Asia is available here.

Important Note:

Any advice in this editorial has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider its appropriateness to you.