The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement which will provide substantive market access gains to many agricultural commodities.
“The conclusion of the interim agreement with a country who has a population nearing 1.5 billion people is obviously a great first step for an export-oriented country, like Australia, and particularly agriculture,” NFF President and beef and grain farmer, Fiona Simson said.
There are immediate and phased-in tariff reductions across a variety of commodities including sheep meat, wine, fruit, vegetables, dairy concentrates, barley, oats, pulses and seeds.
“While it is disappointing that many commodities did miss out on better market access, the tariff reductions secured in the interim agreement continue to bolster the agricultural sector’s push for market diversification.”
Today’s announcement makes further inroads on NFF’s goal for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030 and for the average tariff faced by ag exports to be 5% by the same year.
“More than 70 per cent of Australia’s total agricultural production is exported overseas. Strong farm exports were a key part of Australia’s economic resilience during the tough times of the pandemic and are vital to not only farmer’s success but the nation,” Ms Simson said.
The NFF welcomes the resolve of the Australian and Indian Governments who will reconvene negotiations in a matter of weeks on the final agreement.
“It is incumbent on the Federal Government and the agriculture industry to work with our Indian counterparts to demonstrate the win-win outcomes for Indian and Australian agriculture.”
“We are keen to work with the Federal Government to improve agricultural cooperation with India that will secure long-term outcomes for both Indian and Australian agriculture from the final agreement and beyond,” Ms Simson said.