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Minister leads ag industry delegation to India

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
In the first 6 months of Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with India, Australian businesses have benefitted from lower tariffs on more than $12 billion worth in exports, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconIn the first 6 months of Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with India, Australian businesses have benefitted from lower tariffs on more than $12 billion worth in exports, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

A combined government-industry push into the growing Indian agriculture market has commenced, with the arrival of a senior Australian delegation in India.

The delegation, led by Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, and including 12 senior agribusiness representatives, will promote Australia’s high-quality produce and push for greater trade ties between the two countries.

The delegation will spend three days in Delhi and Mumbai meeting with Indian government, business and industry leaders.

Mr Watt said he would also be holding several high-level meetings with Indian Government Ministers across the week.

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He said market access for Australian Hass avocados to India was recently opened as well as Indian okra to Australia through the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement.

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt as he announces a four-person panel to phase out the live sheep trade. Pictured - Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt
Camera IconFederal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt as he announces a four-person panel to phase out the live sheep trade. Pictured - Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

“In the first six months of Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with India, Australian businesses have benefitted from lower tariffs on more than $12 billion worth in exports,” he said.

“This demonstrates the ongoing work this government is doing to build Australian agriculture trade with India — one of the largest food markets in the world.

“This is only the beginning, with negotiations moving swiftly on an Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement to further expand market access for Australian producers.

Tariff cuts will boost trade between Australia and India
Camera IconTariff cuts will give Australian businesses greater access to the enormous Indian market. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

The AI-ECTA entered into force on December 29, last year.

It has brought new and commercially meaningful agriculture market access for a range of sectors, including sheep meat, seafood, wool, cotton, forestry, infant formula, wine and some nuts and fruits, and has provided the perfect launching pad to broaden and deepen the trading relationship through CECA which is currently under negotiation.

CECA aims to secure improved and new market access outcomes for Australian agricultural products.

Minister Watt said CECA aims to go beyond AI-ECTA, further improving market access for Australian food commodities under AI-ECTA and securing positive outcomes for products that were not covered under the initial agreement.

The visit will help build momentum ahead of the next CECA negotiating round this month.

Mr Watt said through the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation grants program, the government is also supporting industry-driven projects aimed at expanding and diversifying markets for sectors impacted by global trade disruptions.

This includes support for cooperation projects in the India market addressing supply chain issues, promoting our high-quality produce abroad and clearing the way for exporters to seize opportunities opened by the AI-ECTA, and prepare for new opportunities under CECA.

Some of these opportunities include $574,000 for Grains Australia for providing further opportunities to diversify production and export of Australian grain, $350,000 for Hort Innovation to map, understand and address reported issues in the horticultural supply chain to India and $145,000 for Meat and Livestock Australia to initiate trade, marketing and business development programs, among others.

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