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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 13607


Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice and Minister for Defence Materiel) (17:54): These two bills, the Customs Amendment (Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation and Other Measures) Bill 2012 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2012 will allow Australia's importers to access preferential treatment under the Asia-Australia free trade agreement. The bills do this by setting out when goods can be regarded as of Malaysian origin, to take advantage of the free-trade provisions. Australian exporters and producers are able to access preferential treatment under the free trade agreement when sending goods to Malaysia. The agreement, which was signed on 22 May this year by the minister for trade and his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Mustapha Mohamed, recognises the importance of Malaysia as a market for Australia. The agreement also diversifies our trade relationship by opening Malaysia's services sector to Australian companies.

This agreement and this legislation are good for the economy, good for manufacturers, good for importers and good for exporters. Both countries have committed to the free trade agreement coming into force on 1 January 2013; passage of these bills will enable that to happen. I commend these bills to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that the bill be reported to the House without amendment.