Japanese PM highlights TPP at Sydney event

Andi Yu
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived at a business dialogue in Sydney.

Japanese PM arrives at Sydney dialogue

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived at a business dialogue in Sydney.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has used his appearance at a Sydney meeting to spruik his leadership of the Asian region in securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

During a brief visit to Australia to talk trade, security and implications of the Trump presidency, Mr Abe met with NSW Premier Mike Baird and federal Trade Minister Steve Ciobo on Saturday in Sydney.

"We have taken a leading role in the region to ensure the investment in free trade," Mr Abe said.

"We have served as leading participants in the TPP."

Mr Baird and Mr Ciobo praised the leader for his "strong" role in the TPP.

"We congratulate you for your leadership of that (deal) in particular," Mr Baird said.

"Australia firmly believes that the TPP holds significant benefit for the 12 countries that have signed up to it," Mr Ciobo said.

The Australian and Japanese governments are enthusiastic supporters of the controversial TPP trade deal, which Mr Trump has vowed to pull out of after his inauguration.

The Japan-Australia trade relationship started in 1957 but was turbo-charged two years ago with the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, or JAEPA.

Now, more than 97 per cent of Australian exports to Japan enter duty free or under preferential tariff rates.

Exports of Australian wine, beef, grapes and macadamia nuts have seen major growth under the JAEPA, Mr Ciobo said in a statement on Saturday.

The next tariff reductions under the JAEPA will take effect on April 1 this year.

"Our peoples love each other's countries," Mr Ciobo said.

Mr Baird joked on Saturday that both he and Mr Abe had followed in their fathers' footsteps into politics though in Mr Baird's case, despite his father's warnings not to.

His meeting with Mr Abe was the first between a NSW premier and a Japanese leader since 2002.

After the private part of their meeting, Mr Baird released a statement saying he and the Japanese leader discussed bilateral investment opportunities, infrastructure programs and financing, and the NSW government's participation in the Japan Now exchange program in 2018.

Mr Baird said the success of the JAEPA has opened doors for NSW exporters, particularly in the agricultural sector where meat exports to Japan have grown by $14.1 million and fish exports have increased by more than 50 per cent since January 2015.

Later on Saturday, Mr Abe is due to meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli House.

He and his wife Akie will depart Sydney on Sunday morning to continue their diplomatic tour of the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.