The Federal Parliament today passed the enabling legislation for Australia’s free trade agreements with Indonesia, Peru and Hong Kong.
The passage of this legislation means that Australia’s farmers are one step closer to reaping the benefits of these trade agreements.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said that access to international markets is critically important for Australian agriculture.
“Our export sector accounted for 80 per cent of total farm production last financial year.
“With many of our international competitors heavily subsidising their agricultural industries, it is of the utmost importance that the Australian Government continue to seek new, ambitious market access for primary producers.”
Indonesia in particular, with one of the world’s fastest growing populations and economies, offers significant opportunities for our farmers.
The Indonesia agreement provides cattle, beef, grains, sheep meat, dairy, sugar, horticulture and a range of other commodities with new export opportunities.
Mr Mahar acknowledged the Australian Government and the Australian Labour Party for supporting our drought-stricken farmers by backing these deals.
“I want to recognise and congratulate the Federal Government and the Labour Party, especially Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham and Shadow Minister for Trade Madeleine King, for the bipartisan approach to these agreements.
“The ability to export produce to these markets more liberally and efficiently will assist farmers to re-establish their income when the drought breaks, and the process of recovery begins.”
Hong Kong and Peru have already completed their ratification processes, and Indonesia is expected to complete its ratification process early next year.