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Australia-China free trade conference

Australia-China free trade conference


More than 120 leaders of industry and Government gathered in Xi’an, China today, at the first Australia-China Agricultural Conference held during Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Peter McGauran launched the Conference and delivered the keynote address during his visit to China, to promote agriculture as a vital part of the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement.

“An Australia-China Free Trade Agreement would be a significant achievement for agriculture in both countries.

“It would strengthen the cooperation that already exists and further assist our farming interests,” Mr McGauran said.

While in Xi’an, Mr McGauran also opened the new Austrade office and attended a quarantine fumigation training programme, which delivers significant trade benefits for both countries.

“The training programme, developed by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, is an important part of the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Service,” Mr McGauran said.

“Fumigation is critical in making sure that pests and diseases are not transmitted from country to country. The new arrangements will build confidence that goods fumigated in China meet Australia’s stringent pest freedom requirements.”

Mr McGauran also announced the first three projects approved under the
$5.5 million Australia-China Agricultural Technical Cooperation Programme launched earlier this year.

Projects include strengthening dairy herd, fine wool and grasslands management and providing livestock production education.

“Australian and Chinese agriculture have a great deal in common,” Mr McGauran said.
“Our farms are overwhelmingly family-operated businesses, and both our country’s farmers contribute heavily to our economic prosperity.”

Mr McGauran encouraged all attendees at the conference to seize the opportunity to negotiate a high-quality Free Trade Agreement that would produce mutual benefits for the decades ahead.

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