19 February 2018

Boosting Trade and Investment Opportunities

Rhys Roberts, Managing Director of Roberts Gray Lawyers today called for a national collaborative effort to ensure best possible outcomes from Free Trade Agreements.

​“In recent years, a lot of work has gone into development of Free Trade Agreements, especially bi-lateral agreements,” said Mr Roberts.

​“These initiatives create real trade and investment opportunities for the future and will pave the way for ensuring growth in the Australian economy.”

​Mr Roberts said it is now time to review the impediments to businesses seeking opportunities arising from Free Trade Agreements so that their real potential can be achieved.

​“In some cases, the nett benefit to the Australian economy from a Free Trade Agreement has been negative. In some cases, exports have declined,” said Mr Roberts.

​“One of the main impediments to success, after a Free Trade Agreement is signed, is the differences between the legal systems between the countries that have signed an agreement.”

​“It would be useful for Australian businesses, if the Commonwealth Government, in parallel with each proposed new Free Trade Agreement, undertook a legal system comparison as a ‘kick starter’ for investigating new markets,” he said.

​“Established large business may have a legal team at their disposal to undertake a review of different rules of competition within the parties to a Free Trade Agreement and to prepare plans to address issues relating to differences between legal systems.”

​“For small businesses, however this is a daunting prospect. We need a national effort to identify relevant legal issues and provide basic information that will assist with bridging the gap between political-legal systems when considering new export opportunities,” Mr Roberts said.

Rhys Roberts
Managing Director, Senior Partner
Roberts Gray Lawyers
Phone: + 61 3 9642 2666