FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said wine and beef producers in the New England Electorate are among those enjoying the competitive advantage the trade agreement with Japan has delivered in the 12 months since it came into force.
Mr Joyce said the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement or JAEPA had generated great enthusiasm and new levels of confidence among Australian exporters, with sales to Asia on the rise in a variety of commodities.
“Since the agreement with Japan came into force on 15 January 2015, it has provided local businesses – large and small – with exciting new export opportunities, particularly those involved in agricultural commodity production,” he said.
“Asia’s growing middle class is certainly developing a taste for Australia’s clean, green produce with export sales of fresh table grapes increasing more than ten-fold from $0.6 million to $6.5 million.
“Sales of frozen shrimp and prawns to Japan have increased 90 per cent, while asparagus sales have seen a 41 per cent increase after the tariff was eliminated on day one of the agreement.”
Mr Joyce said export sales of bottled wine are up 11 per cent, fresh/chilled beef is up 24 per cent, while shelled almond sales have increased more than ten-fold (from $0.4 million to $4.1 million), after the tariff was eliminated on entry-into-force. Sales of peanut butter to Japan are up 65 per cent, fresh Valencia oranges are up 77 per cent and sales of rolled oats are up 62 per cent.
Mr Joyce said while many of these increases were from a low-trading base, the figures illustrate the new export markets the historic trifecta of free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China have the potential to create.
“These figures show that not only has tariff relief made our traditional exports stronger, it’s created opportunities in emerging areas where previously we have not been competitive,” Mr Joyce said.
For more information on the Free Trade Agreements and the opportunities they’ve created for local businesses visit: www.openforbusiness.gov.au