The UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand FTAs Enter Into Force
The United Kingdom's Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia and New Zealand, the first signed after leaving the European Union, entered into force yesterday. These deals are projected to significantly boost bilateral trade, increasing it by 53% with Australia and 59% with New Zealand.
Moreover, they open up unprecedented opportunities for UK businesses in terms of accessing these markets for services and reducing bureaucracy for digital trade. These include a ban on data localization and source code transfer requirements, while upholding high data protection standards. There are also provisions in both FTAs for the digitisation of customs processes, including the mutual recognition of respective e-contracts and e-signatures, as well as on digital identity compatibility and bilateral access to open government data. This will reduce the amount of physical paperwork and bureaucracy and make it easier for businesses to trade.
The UK-Australia FTA Innovation Chapter promises to support innovation “by fostering opportunities in innovation-intensive industries and encouraging trade in innovative goods and services” and to provide a mechanism for the two countries to engage with each other on topics such as supply chain security, emerging technology commercialisation, regulation, and the impact of innovation on trade.
There is a chapter in the UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand FTAs on professional services trade which covers a mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The chapter also includes improved market access provisions for professional services, including for UK law firms accessing Australian government procurement, financials services, and insurance firms.
To complement this services market access, the UK-Australia and New Zealand FTAs have commitments to make business travel and visas easier for service providers, enabling people to work more freely in each country. The agreements will benefit on employees in professional services such as accountancy and law that are delivering a contract, but will also make intra-company cross-border exchanges easier. In the UK-Australia FTA, there is a commitment to a pilot program for ‘Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchanges’, aiming to help plug the digital skills shortages in each country.
Tariffs on goods
The FTAs will eliminate tariffs on all UK goods exports to Australia and New Zealand, resulting in lower prices for UK consumers. In terms of technology manufacturers in the UK, there will be lower costs for machinery parts, especially automotive parts and electrical equipment as a result of the FTAs.
Following the announcement, there is further information on these FTAs and guidance on how the Department for Business and Trade can support companies looking to expand into Australia and New Zealand which can be found online.
If members have any questions regarding the utilisation of these FTAs, and how techUK can help, then please contact [email protected]
Dan joined techUK as a Policy Manager for International Policy and Trade in March 2023.
Before techUK, Dan worked for data and consulting company GlobalData as an analyst of tech and geopolitics. He has also worked in public affairs, political polling, and has written freelance for the New Statesman and Investment Monitor.
Dan has a degree in MSc International Public Policy from University College London, and a BA Geography degree from the University of Sussex.
Outside of work, Dan is a big fan of football, cooking, going to see live music, and reading about international affairs.
- [email protected]
Sabina Ciofu is Associate Director – International, running the International Policy and Trade Programme at techUK.
Based in Brussels, she leads our EU policy and engagement. She is also our lead on international trade policy, with a focus on digital trade chapter in FTAs, regulatory cooperation as well as broader engagement with the G7, G20, WTO and OECD.
As a transatlanticist at heart, Sabina is a GMF Marshall Memorial fellow and issue-lead on the EU-US Trade and Technology Council, within DigitalEurope.
Previously, she worked as Policy Advisor to a Member of the European Parliament for almost a decade, where she specialised in tech regulation, international trade and EU-US relations.
Sabina loves building communities and bringing people together. She is the founder of the Gentlewomen’s Club and co-organiser of the Young Professionals in Digital Policy. Previously, as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, she led several youth civic engagement and gender equality projects.
She sits on the Advisory Board of the University College London European Institute, Café Transatlantique, a network of women in transatlantic technology policy and The Nine, Brussels’ first members-only club designed for women.
Sabina holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge.