India – enhanced trade on horizon for Australian sheepmeat

The Australian sheepmeat industry today welcomed the signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) by Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Priyush Goyal.

The agreement eliminates the current 30% import tariff levied on Australian sheepmeat on entry into force.

Australia has only exported 111 tonnes of sheepmeat to India over the past 5 years, with premium cuts making up the majority of this trade.

“This focus will undoubtedly continue, with Australian sheepmeat helping meet the ongoing import demand in India for quality product servicing 5-star catering and high-end retail segments,” Roger Fletcher, Australian Meat Industry Council Board Director / Fletcher International Exports said.

“The agreement fits well with Australia’s diversified portfolio of export markets, whereby our industry carefully matches specific cuts with market segments and cuisines.

“The removal of the tariff will go a long way to providing more certainty for this trade – especially as the majority of other global sheepmeat customers are paying significantly less duty when importing Australian lamb and mutton.”

In addition to eliminating sheepmeat tariffs, the agreement binds the tariff on raw skins and hides at zero and eliminates the 10% tariff on processed skins / hides.

“For Australian producers and exporters, the agreement will enable our industry to be better placed to help supply some of the demand in India for high quality sheepmeat” Bonnie Skinner Sheep Producers Australia CEO said.

“The Australian lamb industry has a long history of producing safe, quality lamb for customers around the world. Securing this agreement signals a new chapter in our bilateral relations and an opportunity for us to work collaboratively for years to come.”

AI-ECTA reflects the commitment by Australia and India to pursuing trade reform. The Australian red meat sector now looks forward to working with both Governments on not only securing timely entry into force of the deal – but, importantly, seeking additional benefits via completion of the envisaged comprehensive agreement which is currently under negotiation.

The industry would like to acknowledge and thank Trade Minister Dan Tehan, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry Priyush Goyal and their respective negotiating teams for their tireless work in achieving this outcome.

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