TARIFFS on major Australian agricultural exports to Indonesia will fall following the signing of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) by the two countries on Friday.
Indonesia is Australia’s fourth largest agricultural export market, led by wheat ($1.3 billion in 2016-17), sugar ($541 million) and beef cattle ($620 million). .
More than 99pc of Australian exports to Indonesia will enter duty free or under significantly improved and preferential arrangements:
In a joint statement Australian livestock and red meat industry groups welcomed the signing of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).
Chair of the red meat industry’s IA-CEPA taskforce David Foote said Indonesia was a vitally important customer for significant quantities of Australian live cattle, beef and offal and has a steady requirement for sheepmeat, albeit smaller volumes.
“IA-CEPA will not only deliver additional trade liberalisation by building on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) outcomes, it will also provide a framework for a more market orientated import regime. This in turn will deliver benefits for both our sector as well as the Indonesian supply chain – including importers, retailers and foodservice operators,” Mr Foote said.
“On behalf of the livestock and red meat industry, I extend our thanks to the Australian and Indonesian negotiating teams for their tireless effort over several years.
“IA-CEPA is a most welcome addition to the suite of FTAs the Australian Government has concluded to date with key trading partners.
“In an increasingly competitive market, whereby Indonesia is granting access to numerous beef suppliers, a removal of these import tariffs will assist in maintaining Australian product’s cost competitiveness.
Mr Foote indicated that the conclusion of the negotiations is just the beginning of cementing the close relationship between our two countries.
“Shoring-up the trade relationship via IA-CEPA will be jointly beneficial – but importantly this will need to be matched by ongoing close dialogue coupled with effective industry and government partnership initiatives as we continue to navigate a rapidly changing global trading environment,” Mr Foote said.
“Indonesia has an ongoing requirement for imported red meat (specifically beef) and, whether via the supply of live cattle or boxed product, our industry is ideally placed to assist Indonesia with meeting this demand.”
GrainGrowers described Indonesia as “a country of boundless opportunity” for the Australian grains industry.
“A country with 263 million people, Indonesia is forecast to grow to 295 million by 2030. It will become the world’s third largest economy by 2050,” CEO David McKeon said.
“Indonesia is already Australia’s largest wheat market, valued at roughly $1.3 billion with trade volumes around 4.2 million tonnes per year, and wheat is already Australia’s single largest export to Indonesia.”
Mr McKeon said that currently Australia’s grain trade to Indonesia was almost exclusively wheat for milling purposes, however, IA-CEPA would directly allow more diversity and growth in Australia’s grain trade with Indonesia in the future.
He said that GrainGrowers, on behalf of Australian grain farmers and the broader industry, had been working tirelessly with the Australian Government to ensure that grains was central to the trade agreement.
“We are thrilled with the outcome and the benefits this new trade agreement will provide to Australiangrain growers and the broader industry,” Mr McKeon said.
“IA-CEPA will provide a platform for further growth in milling wheat trade, and will allow for improved diversity in grains trade between the two countries. IA-CEPA will not only boost opportunities for the Australian grain industry, but will also support growth, development and trade opportunities for Indonesia’s food manufacturing, stockfeed and livestock sectors”
Mr McKeon said that thanks to IA-CEPA, Australia would now have access to the rapidly growing Indonesian feed grain market with a new 500,000 tonne duty-free tariff rate quota for Australian feed grains, including feed barley, sorghum and feed wheat.
“This will provide distinct advantages to Australian grain farmers over rival grain exporting countries. These new opportunities for Australian feed grains will also help boost development of Indonesia’s livestock, poultry and aquaculture industries, while complementing the existing strong trade in milling wheat between the two countries.”
“GrainGrowers is equally pleased that Indonesia and Australia will start to work on a grains-specific economic cooperation initiative, dubbed the Indonesia-Australia Strategic Grains Partnership. The partnership will provide the required technical, economic, and social programs to allow the grains and related industries in both countries to flourish.”
GrainGrowers’ Trade and Economics Manager, Luke Mathews acknowledged the efforts by the government in pursuing a high quality agreement with Indonesia, and looked forward to the official signing of the agreement and subsequent ratification by both countries, as soon as possible.
Mr Mathews said IA-CEPA would cement the existing relationship between Australian and Indonesian milling wheat industries while allowing new trade, investment and relationships to flourish between Australia’s grain industry and Indonesia’s food manufacturing, stockfeed and livestock sectors.