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Export / Import Information for Small Business Owners in Australia

Free Trade Agreements

Fair Trade Agreements are partnerships between two countries to protect the goods imported and exported to each other by holding their price from fluctuation in their respective markets.

This is most often done to promote the valuable goods and services provided by poorer, third world areas and provide a sustainable economy where there otherwise would be competition by larger corporations. Fair trade agreements offer an opportunity for farmers and artisans of poorer nations to be able to trade on the same level as manufacturers of similar products from more industrialized nations. Australia has fair trade agreements with Malaysia since drafting a FTA (Fair Trade Agreement) in 2005.

There is also the FairTrade Association, which is an Australian/New Zealand cooperative that trades strictly with fair trade organizations around the globe. Australia also has an FTA with the United States as of 2004, and has proposals for FTAs with India and the Republic of Korea. Fair trade products are often natural products or handcrafted products and can be a benefit to your export business because there is high demand for such items, in many markets around the world.

Coffee is one fair trade product, and coffee beans from many undeveloped nations are some of the most preferred coffee beans available. Because they are not mass-produced, or due to their exclusive geographical location they are sought after by coffee companies with niche markets.

Fair trade agreements are seen as a method to raise communities out of poverty and destitution by offering them a role in the import and export markets of the world. The products involved are sometimes deemed more “sought after” because of the latest trends of “eco-friendly” products and market demand.

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