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Go8 commends Government and Parliament for passage of legislation enabling Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru

The Group of Eight (Go8), which represents Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, recognises the value to Australia from today’s passage of enabling FTA legislation.

“The Government has worked assiduously to ensure this occurred, and the Go8 congratulates it for the effort,” says Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson. “The value of FTAs cannot be underestimated. The Go8, working globally, and with seven of its members ranked in the world’s top 100 universities, does see their impact as it works on research and researcher agreements, and knows what they can deliver for an economy, its productivity and jobs growth,” she said.

Ms Thomson said the strong signal that the passage of the legislation sent globally was therefore important across the economy, and universities too would benefit. “It will build on our capacity to engage extensively with international partners, in our region, and around the world.

“Government level agreements – such as economic partnerships and FTAs – provide a solid signal of Australia’s willingness to engage with the wider community. They assist facilitate the development of stronger relationships,” she said.

She said that Indonesia is Australia’s eighth largest source market for International students and almost half of the higher education enrolments from Indonesian nationals in Australia are at a Go8 university; as are 50 per cent of enrolments from Indonesian nationals studying at Higher Degree Research level in Australia.

“In some complex geopolitical times the FTAs are a high-level symbol of Australia’s commitment to our regional partners.”

Media Contact: Vicki Thomson Go8 Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472