Australia, China agree on two-way fruit trade

blueberries4Australian and Chinese governments have agreed on new horticulture market priorities for a two-way trade of Australian apples and blueberries.

Deputy prime minister and minister for Agricult​ure and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the new agreement will improve the countries’ horticultural market access and support the trade relationship between them.

“The Coalition Government has worked closely with China to progress our horticulture market access priorities and through the new two and two agreement we are focusing our efforts on access for mainland apples, followed by Australian blueberries,” minister Joyce said.

“The new agreement will commence following completion of summerfruit protocols under the previous four and four agreement. Technical market access negotiations are scientifically complex and do take time, as each country looks to safeguard its national biosecurity interests and food safety standards.”

Assistant minister to the deputy prime minister, Luke Hartsuyker, said the new agreement will build on market access achievements delivered under the previous ‘four and four’ agreement.

“The previous agreement supported access for Australian table grapes, and cherries, with nectarines completed and progress being made on access for other summerfruits—peaches, plums and apricots,” minister Hartsuyker said.

“We currently export blueberries to almost 20 countries and the new agreement provides a significant opportunity for the Australian industry to access another valuable market. Identifying and making use of these new opportunities will help support the ongoing productivity and profitability of the Australian blueberry industry.”

Assistant minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said China is one of Australia’s most important trading partners.

“As a trading nation that has developed to supply food and fibre to global markets, exports underpin our national economy and the profitability of our agriculture sector,” said Ruston.

In 2006, Australia and China have agreed to prioritise negotiations by considering the countries’ top four horticulture market access requests through a ‘four and four’ agreement, which has provided agricultural trade benefits for both countries.

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