China trade mission highlights need for FTA: ADF
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed comments by State Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, in the wake of the Victorian Government’s recent trade mission to China.
ADF President, Noel Campbell, said the Minister’s recent remarks that ‘there was a lot of interest around dairy, particularly around formula” (Weekly Times 30/10/2013 p.12) highlighted the potential for growth in dairy exports to China.
“From a dairy industry perspective, we were very pleased to see Minister Walsh’s remarks following the State Government’s recent trade mission to China,” Mr Campbell said.
“We know that China’s rapidly growing and increasingly affluent middle-class is generating substantial demand for dairy products, including infant formula.
“The Minister’s comments are yet more evidence, if any was needed, of the enormous potential for growth in dairy exports to the world’s largest market-place.
“The challenge for government as well as the industry is to translate this positivity into concrete action and secure a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that delivers value to suppliers as soon as possible.
“Every added delay hands a further competitive advantage to trade rivals like New Zealand, who after securing an FTA with China in 2008, have seen a six-fold increase in the total volume (tonnes) of their dairy exports.
“If New Zealand can secure an outcome that delivers a massive exports-driven boost to their bottom line, then there’s no reason why we can’t do the same.”
Mr Campbell said ADF would continue to strongly press the Federal Government to fast-track negotiations for FTAs with China, Japan and Korea.
“We will continue to be a firm but constructive advocate to government on this issue critical to the future of our industry.”