GRAINGROWERS has called on the Federal Parliament to support the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) which was signed by Australian and Indonesian leaders in March 2019 and is now awaiting ratification by parliament.
“Trade agreements such as IA-CEPA are very important in improving export opportunities for the Australian grain sector. Maintaining a strong free trade agenda that focusses on addressing tariff, quota and non-tariff barriers to trade, is imperative,” GrainGrowers general manager policy and research, Luke Mathews, said.
Indonesia is Australia’s largest wheat market with annual trade volumes typically around 4.2 million tonnes, valued at around $1.3 billion.
The agreement includes a new quota of 500,000 tonnes of Australian feed grain to Indonesia per year, growing at 5 per cent per annum.
“This feed grain quota is equivalent to 12,000 B-double truckloads of grains and will boost opportunities for Australian farmers and also support growth, development and trade opportunities for Indonesia’s food manufacturing, stockfeed and livestock sectors,” Mr Mathews said.
“We are also excited that as part of IA-CEPA, Indonesia and Australia will develop a grains-specific economic cooperation initiative, the Australia-Indonesia Grains Partnership. The partnership will provide the required technical, economic and social programs to allow the grains and agrifood industries in both countries to flourish.”
Australian grain farmers grow about 45 million tonnes of grains, oilseeds and pulses each year, that are worth $14 billion at the farm gate alone.
This production generates more than 170,000 jobs across rural, regional and metropolitan Australia.
More than 70pc of grain production is sold offshore, generating $12 billion each year, and accounting for more than a quarter of all Australian agricultural export earnings.
“It is vitally important that free trade and market access remain a key focus for government,” Mr Mathews said.
Read Luke Mathews’ presentation to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry here.
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