23 May 2012

Australia - Malaysia free trade agreement signed

1:52 pm on 23 May 2012

The Australian government has signed a free trade agreement with Malaysia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says the agreement will see Malaysia cut tariffs on 99% of Australian imported goods by 2017 and Australia will eliminate all tariffs on Malaysian imports.

After seven years of negotiating, the agreement will reduce tariffs on dairy, automotive, food manufacturing, wine and iron and steel products.

Malaysia is Australia's third-largest trading partner in South-East Asia and 10th biggest worldwide.

The ABC reports two-way trade in goods and services reached $A16 billion in 2011.

Australia has several similar agreements with Singapore, Thailand and the United States. Bilateral negotiations with China, Japan and South Korea are underway.