Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy
I note the UK Government announcement that an in principle agreement has been reached on the UK-Australia free trade agreement (FTA).
The value of goods trade between Australia and Wales in 2020 amounted to £158.6m and Australia is our 21st largest export market and 45th largest import market. An FTA could bring potential benefits to Wales.
Although we have engaged with the UK Government throughout the negotiations and have had the opportunity to feed in our views on the potential opportunities and risk for Wales, we have yet to see the exact details of what will be included in the agreement. However, the Welsh Government have been clear throughout the negotiations that any trade deal must not disadvantage Welsh producers or compromise the high quality standards that are so important to us in Wales. We have also raised some concerns with UK Government, particularly around the need to ensure that our producers are able to continue to compete on a level playing field. My officials will be seeking further information on exactly what has been agreed in these areas.
We have also been in dialogue with stakeholders in Wales throughout the negotiations period and will continue to engage with them in order to understand what the likely impact of the deal may be going forward.
My officials will now scrutinize the detail of the agreement to determine the impacts on Wales. Once we have had the time to complete this work, we will publish a report detailing the potential impacts on Wales and our thoughts on the agreement.