Vegetable industry welcomes trade deal between Australia and Indonesia

The IA-CEPA will create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between Australia and Indonesia, which should improve two-way trade between the two countries and provide opportunities for Australia’s fresh vegetable exporters.

In the 2017/18 financial year, Australian vegetable exports to Indonesia were valued at $3.7 million, with the top commodity being potatoes, which accounts for nearly half of this total. Given Indonesia’s developing population and its proximity to Australia, this market has strong potential for local growers to boost their fresh vegetable exports.

Key outcomes for the vegetable industry from IA-CEPA are:

· Carrots – Increased import quota of 5,000t per year, growing to 10,000t per year after 10 years, with a decreasing tariff schedule during this time.

· Potatoes – Increased import quota of 10,000t per year, growing to 12,500t per year after five years, with a decreasing tariff schedule during this time.

“The efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and former Trade Minister Steven Ciobo who worked together with their Indonesian counterparts to finalise negotiations are greatly appreciated by the Australian vegetable industry,” said AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside.

“In particular, the agreement to increase import quotas and decrease tariffs for carrot and potato exports – two of the Australian vegetable industry’s key export crops – should lead to an immediate increase in the trade of these commodities to Indonesia, a potentially lucrative market for our growers.

“The finalisation of this important deal is timely, given the industry’s increased activities in market development, which included Indonesia’s participation in the recent annual AUSVEG Reverse Trade Mission that allowed buyers from key export markets to visit Australian vegetable growers and see first-hand the high quality produce for which our growers are renowned around the world.”

The vegetable industry is seeking to increase its export value to $315 million per year by 2020, an increase of 40 per cent from 2016.

“We are currently in a fantastic position to take advantage of opportunities in lucrative export markets, and the industry is working hard to ensure growers have the necessary tools to be successful in the exporting process,” said Mr Whiteside.

“Trade agreements with neighbouring countries such as the IA-CEPA helps provide our industry with confidence that it can continue to prosper through developing export markets, which helps secure the profitability and competitiveness of the Australian vegetable industry.”

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