The Federal Government launched negotiations to open new markets to Australian farmers through a free trade agreement with Peru.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said industries expected to benefit included the kangaroo meat industry along with beef, horticulture and wine.
Mr Joyce said negotiations with Peru are a positive development for Australian agricultural exporters, and represent a new step forward for Australian exports into Latin America.
“Economic partnerships are the bedrock of success for modern trading nations,” Minister Joyce said. “A Free Trade Agree (FTA) with Peru will ensure that Australian farmers have the opportunity to share in Latin America’s economic growth and be on an even footing with our competitors.
“Australia’s agricultural exports to Peru, such as beef, horticulture and wine, face high tariffs that many of our competitors do not—the US, the EU, and Canada, all have FTAs with Peru, which give them preferential access.
Minister Joyce said Peru’s booming gastronomy industry offered niche opportunities for many other high-value Australian agricultural and food exports.
Ray Borda, President of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, said the commencement of negotiations with Peru represents an exciting opportunity for kangaroo meat exports.
“It’s fantastic, not only are they big meat eaters in Peru but all throughout South America and they love the taste of kangaroo,” Mr Borda said.
“If negotiations go well this will be a huge step towards opening up the rest of South America and towards demonstrating how great this product is to the rest of the world.”
Minister Joyce said the Australia-Peru FTA not only offers immediate economic benefits to both nations, but also represents a critical gateway into Latin America.
“An FTA with Peru will strengthen our economic relationship with the region, facilitate essential value chains between the Americas and Asia and prove Australia’s credentials as a reliable and responsible supplier of high-quality agricultural produce.
“Peru is a member of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc and a FTA could be used as a stepping stone to an Australian-Pacific Alliance FTA, including Mexico, Chile and Colombia.
“The Federal Government is in discussions with 10 countries, including Peru, involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations to assess options for bringing the TPP into force as soon as possible.”
Minister Joyce said the Federal Government is not resting on its laurels on work for improved market access and opportunities for Australia’s agriculture exports and is currently working on negotiations to deliver five new Free Trade Agreements, which include:
- the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),
- the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA),
- an Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement (A-EU FTA),
- Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (AI-CECA),
- the Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council FTA, and
- the Australia-Hong Kong FTA (A-HFTA).
Negotiations for a high-value Free Trade Agreement with Peru could be completed quickly building on the work already undertaken between both nations as part of TPP negotiations.