Australian business leaders to back a simpler trading system

Media release

03 March 2023

The Albanese Government is focussed on streamlining Australia’s trade system, to ease pressure on our supply chains and make it cheaper for Australian importers and exporters.

This week I convened a meeting of the Simplified Trade System Industry Advisory Council in Melbourne.


The Council brings together industry leaders in ports, airports, shipping, logistics, trade finance, technology, and imports and exports to provide strategic advice and engagement on the Government’s Simplified Trade System reform agenda.

I welcomed four new members to the Council, who bring a wealth of experience and new perspectives to assist with progressing an ambitious agenda.

During the meeting we discussed Australia’s current trading environment and the need for concrete action to address a decade of declining trade competitiveness.

Our economy is stronger when global trade flows freely, but Australian importers and exporters are facing unnecessary costs and red tape because our trading environment is more complex and inefficient than it needs to be.

The Government is continuing to simplify and update the processes and systems that speed up trade at the border, enabling the flow of goods in and out of Australia.

ABF media

We spoke about the benefits for both business, government, and the community of making trade simpler and more sustainable. The reforms support the Albanese Government’s trade diversification agenda, supply chain productivity, and will put downward pressure on costs, while maintaining vital border and biosecurity protections.

The whole-of-government reform agenda is led and coordinated through the Simplified Trade System Implementation Taskforce, working closely with key government agencies.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell:

“Our outdated trading system means that Australian shipments can take twice as long to complete documents and border compliance processes, compared to our trade competitors like Canada, the US, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Singapore – who take 19 hours on average.”

“The former Government made a promise to do something about this in 2013 but spent a decade admiring the problem.”

“The Albanese Government is focussed on opening doors for our businesses to trade globally by streamlining trade processes through the Simplified Trade System.”

“The reforms will make it easier for businesses to import and export and help ensure Australia remains the best place to do business.”

“Simplifying the processes and systems that enable Australian exporters to trade more efficiently will deliver flow on benefits to virtually all aspects of everyday life. More trade means more well-paying jobs, more national income, and more opportunities for business.”

Source: DFAT

Also read: Australian exporters are high-performing


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