AUSTRALIA, St. Leonards. The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes the signing of a trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia, the latest in a series of free trade agreements which all help support a more vibrant industry.
AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, says the bilateral agreement, known as Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), will strengthen ties and create new opportunities with a key trade partner.
He further comments: “This is an agreement that the industry has been anticipating for some time. While the deal was delayed last year, we congratulate all involved for working hard to find a way forward.Trade between Australia and Indonesia was valued at $11.2 bn. in 2017-2018, and we export about 50,000 t of meat to Indonesia each year, so this agreement is certainly welcome news and a great shot in the arm for Australian exporters.”
Key advantages under the IA-CEPA for red meat exporters include immediate reductions (and eventual elimination) of tariffs for boxed beef and sheepmeat lines not already addressed under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA).
Hutchinson explains: “This agreement is important for the Australian rural and regional economy. Our industry employs about 100,000 people and trade agreements like this will help it grow and thrive. But there’s more to be done to secure the future of our industry. In particular, we must ensure that while we’re working to create strong trade agreements we have an equally strong resolve around managing and removing non-tariff barriers to trade. The Harris report in 2017 found that the red meat export industry has over $3 bn. AUD in lost opportunities in export earnings.”