Australia’s Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said today that the country is going to conclude free trade agreement with Hong Kong and Indonesia by the end of the year. Hong Kong is Australia’s 12th largest trading partner with two-way trade at roughly AUD 16B. The two-way trade with Indonesia is at roughly the same size. And indeed, the FTA with Indonesia could come as soon as next month during Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit.
Ciobo also said that he’s hopeful of signing FTA with Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc, this year. In addition, agreement with China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership could be in place too.
Ciobo added that due to Trump’s protectionist rhetoric and policies, there has been a “desire from a number of countries to double down” on trade pacts. And that helps him seal deals.