The Coalition's Policy for More Jobs and Growth through Increased Trade and Investment

Key Commitments

Trade and investment create job opportunities for Australians.

More than 450,000 jobs have been created since the Coalition came to government.

We delivered break-through free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea and upgraded our free trade agreement with Singapore.

These free trade agreements are delivering thousands of jobs and growth opportunities for Australian businesses.

Up to 10,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the financial services sector alone by 2030. In the first year of operation, our agreements with Korea and Japan delivered real benefits for the agricultural sector: the value of Australian exports of fresh beef to Japan increased by 22 per cent to just over $1 billion; exports of bottled wine to Korea increased 53 per cent; and China’s imports of fresh Australian lobster between January and March were triple those of 12 months ago.

Australia’s economy will be $24 billion larger by 2035 because of the Coalition’s free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. The free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea are forecast to create some 7,900 jobs this year and over 14,500 jobs in 2020.

The Coalition’s commitment to trade and investment is delivering local jobs.

We will continue to drive job growth through trade and investment by:

  • delivering a company tax cut for Australia’s small businesses
  • establishing a single window for all export documentation
  • implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  • negotiating free trade agreements with India, Indonesia, the European Union, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and Pacific Island countries under PACER Plus, as well as pursuing new trade opportunities, including in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • connecting businesses with export markets
  • establishing a Professional Services Mutual Recognition Unit
  • actioning the recently released ‘National Strategy for International Education 2025’ and the marketing plan ‘Australian International Education 2025’
  • securing access for local exporters to the multi-billion dollar government procurement markets of 45 economies by joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement

Our Plan for More Jobs and Growth Through Increased Trade and Investment

The Coalition will boost Australia’s jobs, growth and exports.

The successful transition of Australia’s economy from the resources-led boom will be fuelled by innovation, investment in a more diverse range of industries, and support for businesses to create more jobs.

The Coalition has supported jobs and growth through our $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, our $1.6 billion for Defence industry and innovation programmes, changes to competition laws, re-establishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and opening doors into expanding markets through free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea.

Through our Global Innovation Strategy, the Coalition is also creating opportunities for Australia’s world leading entrepreneurs and scientists to develop new ideas, collaborate internationally, and take their products to the world.

Our international Landing Pads provide Australian businesses with hands-on experience working alongside world leading startup enterprises and with opportunities to tap into local business networks to build their customer base abroad.

We have held over 80 investment roundtables with major investors from 28 countries, and injected senior private sector experience into Austrade.

Australian businesses, consumers, and workers are better off because of the Coalition’s commitment to increase trade and investment.

1. Delivering a corporate tax cut for Australia’s small business

The Coalition will deliver a company tax cut for Australia’s small businesses.

Our commitment will mean greater cash flow for small business, giving them more capacity to invest and grow, employ more, and promote their products or services into new markets.

From 1 July 2016, small businesses will have their corporate tax rate progressively reduced. On 1 July 2016, the tax rate will fall to 27.5 per cent for companies with annual turnover less than $10 million.

This 27.5 per cent rate will be gradually extended to all companies, before falling to 27 per cent on 1 July 2024, 26 percent on 1 July 2025, and 25 per cent on 1 July 2026.

Because not all small businesses are incorporated, from 1 July 2016, unincorporated businesses with annual turnover less than $5 million will be able to access an increased unincorporated tax discount of 8 per cent, capped at $1,000. The discount will increase to 16 per cent in increments between 2024-25 and 2026-27, to coincide with the staggered cuts in the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent.

Our commitment will support Australian businesses and jobs and will attract greater investment.

2. Establishing a single window for export documentation

The Coalition will make it easier for Australian businesses to access export markets by working toward a ‘Single Window’ for all export documentation.

This commitment will drastically simplify the process Australian exporters need to follow in order to satisfy Australian Government export requirements.

For example, some businesses require permits or approvals from multiple government departments or agencies before they are able to export.

The ‘Single Window’ will substantially reduce red tape and, in doing so, reduce the time and cost associated with Australian exporters doing business.

It will complement the Coalition’s Australian Trusted Trader programme, a $70 million partnership between Government and business that gives priority cargo clearances and other benefits to businesses meeting supply chain standards.

3. Concluding more free trade agreements

The Coalition will work to conclude trade agreements with India, Indonesia, the 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Pacific Island countries through the PACER Plus agreement.

We will launch free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union and explore the feasibility of trade negotiations with Canada, Mexico and Colombia. We will pursue new opportunities, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

We will also use existing export and investment agreements to maximise the opportunities these agreements create for Australian business. We will use these agreements to tackle new trade and investment barriers as they arise.

The Coalition will work through APEC, the G20, the OECD and the World Trade Organisation to create international conditions that support open trade and investment markets.

The Coalition intends to sign more free trade agreements over the next three years so that more jobs and investment can be generated in Australia.

4. Connecting businesses with export markets

The Coalition will connect small and medium sized enterprises with opportunities offered under our free trade agreements through the use of education seminars and an expanded online portal.

The Coalition will continue to hold free trade agreement seminars across the country to ensure Australian businesses have the information they need to access key export markets.

Critical tariff and other trade information will be made more readily accessible to Australian businesses through an expanded online portal.

We will also undertake additional business roundtables to encourage investment.

5. Establishing a Professional Services Mutual Recognition Unit

The Coalition will establish the Professional Services Mutual Recognition Unit.

Services businesses employ 80 per cent of the Australian workforce and make up 70 per cent of our GDP, yet only 21 per cent of Australia’s exports are services.

Without international authority to practise their profession, our accountants, architects, engineers, lawyers, physiotherapists, vets, teachers and others are often unable to provide their services to international clients, or to Australian clients with international operations.

The Professional Services Mutual Recognition Unit will provide direct assistance to professional associations and regulators in negotiating the international recognition of Australian qualifications and licencing.

Successful conclusion of mutual recognition agreements will create new opportunities to export professional services, increase the value of Australian qualifications for international students, and raise the international profile of Australian professionals.

6. Actioning the National Strategy for International Education 2025 and associated marketing plan, Australian International Education 2025

Australia’s international education sector is booming under the Coalition. Total spending by international students in Australia was $19.2 billion in 2015, up from $17 billion the previous year.

International education is one of Australia’s largest services exports and is a major employer – supporting around 130,000 Australian jobs across our cities and regions.

The Coalition will ensure the international education sector continues to be a major contributor to the Australian economy by actioning our recently released National Strategy for International Education 2025 and the associated marketing plan, Australian International Education 2025, with the assistance of the Council for International Education.

The strategies are already receiving positive feedback from education professionals and have been acknowledged by Australia's competitors in the education sector as positioning us strongly for capturing more of the market.

7. Reinvigorating the World Trade Organisation

The Coalition supports multilateral trade negotiations in the World Trade Organisation that benefit Australian businesses.

The Coalition played an important role in ending agricultural export subsidies at the last World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting, which helps level the playing field for our farmers when they export.

We also played a key role shifting the World Trade Organisation away from old negotiating approaches that failed to deliver a comprehensive trade deal in over 20 years.

The Coalition will lead World Trade Organisation discussions on new negotiating approaches that deliver commercially meaningful and timely outcomes for Australian businesses.

Under the Coalition, Australia has led World Trade Organisation negotiations to cut tariffs on goods that benefit the environment. Tariff cuts will make our innovative environmental goods producers more competitive and environmental technology more affordable. These negotiations will contribute to creating a cleaner environment and improving access to safe water, sanitation and clean energy.

The Coalition will also secure access for local exporters to the multi-billion dollar government procurement markets of 45 economies by joining the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement.

We will also continue to lead negotiations to conclude the Trade in Services Agreement to help Australian service businesses access the markets of over 50 countries.

The Choice

The Coalition’s national economic plan will deliver jobs and growth through increased trade and investment.

We delivered trade agreements with our major trade partners. It took a Coalition Government to launch free trade negotiations with Japan and China and a Coalition Government to conclude trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China.

Labor had six years to conclude these agreements and achieved little. The Coalition’s three free trade agreements will add billions in additional income year-on-year and thousands of additional jobs. Real wages will be higher.

We supported our small and medium sized enterprises by connecting them with thousands of business opportunities through these free trade agreements and business missions. We also delivered over 45 free trade agreement education seminars across the country.

The Coalition also supported Australian businesses wanting to capitalise on the significant opportunities created by the growth of the Asian middle class. The Coalition cut red tape costs for business by $4.6 billion.

Labor closed Australia’s live animal trade overnight, damaging our reputation as a reliable supplier of quality agricultural produce.

Labor let free trade agreement negotiations languish while our exporters lost market share to our competitors.

The Coalition created the first Australian Trade and Investment portfolio. We ran over 80 investment roundtables in 26 countries linking major Australian projects with international investors.

We introduced a ‘one-stop shop’ for environmental project approvals. As a result, environmental approval times have almost halved; around 150 major projects have been given final approval, worth more than $1 trillion to our economy.

Labor damaged our reputation as an investment destination when it introduced the mining and carbon taxes. The Coalition abolished the mining and carbon taxes. Under Labor, the number of unemployed increased by 200,000, productivity declined by 0.7 per cent per year, working days lost to strikes doubled, and business red tape increased.

Labor’s policies threaten the successful transition to the new economy, through damaging tax changes that will cut existing property values, a 50 per cent increase in Capital Gains Tax that will hurt investment, and refusal to support re-establishing the ABCC.

Bill Shorten has promised around $60 billion worth of additional spending on top of what is currently in the Budget, leaving a massive black hole in Labor’s books.


The Coalition will invest $16 million to boost jobs and growth through increased trade and investment.

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