Prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is touching down in Australia to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) this week, the first time in twelve years that a Japanese prime minister has visited Australia.
As well as a trip to the Pilbara mining region in Western Australia, on the agenda is the official signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement – a trade agreement set to benefit Australia’s agricultural industry.
“This agreement is important for our farming sector – with better access to Japan for our beef, cheese, horticulture and wine,” said Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott in a statement released Sunday. “And consumers will benefit from less expensive household appliances and electronics.”
As part of the FTA, Japan will eliminate tariffs on Australian mandarins, oranges, macadamias and some vegetables over the coming years. The finer details of the FTA are yet to be released, however, bringing criticism from some Australian politicians who question the economic modelling of the agreement.
Trade between Japan and Australia is worth an estimated A$70bn, making Japan Australia’s second largest trading partner.