Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, has welcomed the signing of Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with China – a landmark deal which heralds the start of an exciting future for the region’s agricultural sector.

Ms Ley noted the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, provides unprecedented access to what is already the nation’s top overseas agricultural market.

China buys more of Australia’s agricultural produce than any other country; in the last financial year this market was worth $9 billion to Australian farmers and the broader agricultural sector.

Under ChAFTA, Australia’s beef, sheep and pork farmers will gain from the phased abolition of tariffs of up to 25 per cent, while tariffs on all fruit, vegetables and nuts will be eliminated.

Tariffs will be progressively abolished for Australia’s $13 billion dairy industry, including the rapid elimination of the 15 per cent tariff on infant formula, while there are also significant gains for processed foods such as fruit juices and honey, as well as the elimination of tariffs on barley and sorghum.

The agreement, together with the increased demand from China’s growing middle class for Australia’s clean, green, premium produce, means opportunities for future export growth in this market are there for the taking.

This agreement is not just good news for the region’s farmers; the Free Trade Agreement with China will benefit the entire community through the creation of jobs, economic growth and greater prosperity.

More information on the ChAFTA is available here.