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Moore Australia Asia Desk welcomes measures to strengthen APAC trade opportunities in Federal Budget

Moore Australia Asia Desk welcomes measures to strengthen APAC trade opportunities in Federal Budget

Wen Shien Chai, Anthony Hayley

A Mandarin translation is available here.

The Australian Federal Budget for 2024-2025 introduces several pivotal measures to reinforce Australia's ties with Southeast Asia and simplify trade processes. Co-Chairs of Moore Australia’s Asia Desk, Wen-Shien Chai and Anthony Hayley have analysed these budgetary measures and discusses how businesses can effectively leverage these changes.


Reforming Tariffs to Enhance Trade Efficiency

A significant feature of the new budget is the abolition of 457 nuisance tariffs starting in July 2024. This action represents the most extensive unilateral tariff reform in two decades, removing duties on various imported goods, including consumer and industrial products. By eliminating these tariffs, the Australian government aims to streamline the import process, reduce administrative burdens, and lower business costs. This measure will likely enhance the competitiveness of Australian companies dealing in these goods, by simplifying the cost structure and logistics of importing.

Strategic Funding to Strengthen Southeast Asia Ties

The commitment of $505.9 million over five years to deepen engagement with Southeast Asia underscores the region's vital importance to Australia's bilateral and multilateral economic interests. This funding facilitates several key initiatives:

  • Mekong-Australia Partnership: Enhancing development and resilience in the Mekong subregion with significant implications for Australian businesses in infrastructure and environmental technologies.
  • Partnerships for Infrastructure: Offering advisory and support services to Southeast Asian governments, which could create opportunities for Australian firms in the construction, engineering, and consultancy sectors.
  • Marine Resources Initiative: Promoting maritime cooperation, which is vital for sectors such as shipping, fisheries, and resource extraction.

These initiatives suggest a targeted approach by the Australian government to support sustainable development in Southeast Asia, which could open new markets for Australian enterprises and foster regional stability.

"In my opinion, the abolition of 457 nuisance tariffs in the 2024-2025 Federal Budget is a significant stride towards streamlining trade processes. This reform reduces the administrative burden on Australian businesses and enhances their global competitiveness by lowering the cost of importing essential goods. It signals that the government is committed to fostering a more dynamic and competitive trade environment." — Anthony Hayley, Transfer Pricing Expert and Co-Chair, Moore Australia Asia Desk.


Promoting Digital Trade and Simplification

Investing $29.9 million to accelerate digital trade aligns with global trends towards digitisation of trade processes. This investment will enhance the efficiency of cross-border trade by improving government to business trade data sharing and border & biosecurity risk assessments. For businesses, this means reduced delays and lower costs due to streamlined customs procedures.

Facilitating Long-Term Economic Exchanges

Establishing a $2 billion Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility reflects a strategic intent to bolster long-term investment in the region. Similarly, the continuation and expansion of the Australia-India Business Exchange indicate a strategic diversification of Australia's trade relationships. These initiatives are designed to diversify Australia's economic engagements and build economic resilience through strengthened international partnerships and increased foreign investments.


"In my opinion, the allocation of $505.9 million to enhance relations with Southeast Asia in the latest budget reflects a strategic commitment to Australia's economic future. This positions Australian businesses to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in the region, strengthening our economy through increased trade and collaboration." — Wen-Shien Chai, Audit Partner and Co-Chair, Moore Australia Asia Desk.

Our view

The 2024-2025 Australian Federal Budget sets a framework for enhanced economic integration with Southeast Asia. It offers Australian businesses a roadmap to navigate and capitalise on the evolving economic landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. From our perspective, these changes necessitate a thoughtful reassessment of how businesses approach cross-border transactions and compliance.

Advising firms and businesses must now focus on integrating these policy shifts into their strategic planning to exploit emerging opportunities fully. The budget provides a fiscal outline and serves as a strategic document that could shape Australia's economic future in the Asia-Pacific theatre. As advisors, we are pivotal in helping businesses interpret these changes, ensuring compliance, and guiding strategic realignment in this new economic era.

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Moore Australia亚洲团队欢迎联邦预算加强亚太贸易机会的措施

作者:Anthony Hayley & Wen-Shien Chai


2024-2025年澳大利亚联邦预算引入了多项关键措施,加强了与东南亚的联系,并简化了贸易程序。Moore Australia亚洲团队联席主席Wen-Shien Chai和Anthony Hayley对这些预算措施进行了分析,并探讨了企业如何有效利用这些变化。