Negotiations for a prized Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement have been set in motion in Canberra today.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud held talks about improving trade in food and fibre with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.
“It was great to sit down with the Commissioner to discuss how an FTA would create opportunities for agriculture in Australia and the EU,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The EU is already our fourth largest agricultural export destination and we are confident this future FTA will increase the value of the EU market for our farmers.
“More high quality Australian produce on EU dinner tables is a win for EU consumers and a win for our farmers, our rural and regional communities and our nation. More farm trade supports those small communities right around Australia, from Burke to Barcaldine.
“Australians also enjoy a wide range of European food and drink products.
“The Coalition Government continues working hard to improve market access for Aussie farmers.”
In 2016-17, Australia’s top exports to the EU were canola at $1.9 billion, wine at $566 million, wool at $333 million, beef and veal at $229 million, and nuts at $226 million.
Reduced tariffs improve export opportunities for farmers by making it easier for them to access key markets. FTAs also give Australian farmers an advantage over competing countries who do not have FTAs.