Australia has concluded negotiations for the region-wide
ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
(AANZFTA). The agreement marks a significant
step towards the lifting of ASEAN trade barriers on Australian
products and services, and the possible establishment of a
regional trade marks filing system.
According to the Minister for Trade, the AANZFTA covers 16
per cent of Australia's trade in goods and services,
two-way trade worth $71 billion and a market of 570 million
people with a combined GDP of US$1 trillion. AANZFTA is
Australia's first multi-country (plurilateral) FTA.
The final negotiations were concluded in Singapore on 28
August 2008 conducted by Ministers of the 10 ASEAN countries,
Australia and New Zealand. The agreement became public when the
Ministers were photographed trying to give the secret handshake
at a press conference. The signing of the AANZFTA is scheduled
for December this year.
So far, amusing handshakes, back-slapping and press
releases, but pretty thin on the details. Good luck trying to
find a copy of the draft document. It appears that there are
"a small number of bilateral market access issues between
certain parties". (Source: Joint Media Statement of
the Thirteenth AEM-CER Consultations, Singapore, 28 August
"ASEAN has already announced deals with China (to be
phased in by 2010) and Japan (by 2012) there is a potential to
have a regional a free trade area stretching from Hokkaido in
the north of Japan to Invercargill on the very southern tip of
the South Island of New Zealand!"
"The (ASEAN) Experts Group on Trademark has finalized
the ASEAN Filing Form for Trademarks and the Notes for the
Completion of the Application. These achievements, together
with the completed ASEAN Common Form and the consolidated ASEAN
list of ethnic goods and services, represent important steps
forward in the regional cooperation in IP. Despite its inherent
complexities, Member Countries have continued their efforts in
the harmonization of the trademark filing requirements. This is
a process of significant importance towards the establishment
of a regional filing system."
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
(DFAT), it was the first time Australia and
New Zealand have been involved jointly in negotiating an FTA
with third countries and the first time ASEAN has embarked on
comprehensive FTA negotiations covering all sectors including
goods, services and investment, intellectual property
Australian franchises in the ASEAN market include Gloria
Jean's Coffee, Boost Juice, Cartridge World,
Hog's Breath Café, Video Ezy, Natural Springs
Australia, Howard's Storage World and ActionCoach.
This newsletter includes links to recent media releases, reports and cases relating to competition and consumer law.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).