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Chinese visit to further grains cooperation

Grain Central, September 20, 2016

Key points:

  • China’s Administrator of the State Administration of Grain, Ren Zhengxiao, is visiting Australia to further grains industry cooperation
  • Administrator Ren will open the Australia-China Joint Centre for Postharvest Grain Biosecurity and Quality Research at WA’s Murdoch University on Friday, 23 September
  • China is Australia’s largest market for grain exports, worth $2.8b in 2015

THIS week’s visit to Australia by China’s Administrator of the State Administration of Grain, Ren Zhengxiao, is being hailed by the Australian Government as a sign of the strong cooperation and collaboration between the two countries on grains trade.

Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the visit was an important step that would support further expansion of the grains trade.

“China is among the world’s largest grains producer—with over 550 million tonnes per annum of wheat, corn, rice, barley and sorghum—and also an important player in international grains trade,” Minister Joyce said.

“China is Australia’s largest grains export market, with exports worth $2.8 billion in 2015, especially for wheat, barley and sorghum.”

Minister Joyce said the Coalition Government had successfully renegotiated with China for revised technical access for wheat and barley in 2015 and was now working to support revised technical negotiations on other key grains commodities.

“This visit is further proof of the strong partnership between our nations in grains trade and Administrator Ren’s program will include meetings with Australian grain industry stakeholders and a first-hand look at grains operations in Western Australia,” he said.

“Mr Ren’s visit also marks another milestone in our strong agricultural research partnership, the official opening of the Australia-China Joint Centre for Postharvest Grain Biosecurity and Quality Research at Murdoch University on Friday.

“At a meeting with Mr Ren in China in September 2014 I was proud to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding that led to the creation of the Joint Centre.

“The centre is a partnership between Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, Murdoch University and China’s Academy of State Administration of Grain, and will focus on a common approach to developing non-chemical controls to manage biosecurity and trade risks, while providing clean, residue-free grain.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, who met with Administrator Ren today in Sydney, said China and Australia shared a long history of cooperation in agriculture and understood the benefits of working together to promote trade and investment.

“There are mutual benefits in enhancing understanding, trade and investment between Australia and China—especially with the benefits that our landmark China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) delivers for each country’s businesses,” he said.

The ChAFTA eliminated the 3 per cent tariff on barley and the 2pc tariff on sorghum, oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa on December 20, 2015. ChAFTA also eliminates the 10pc tariff on malt and wheat gluten by January 1, 2019.

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