Federal Government to fund food industry visits to China

Posted by James Ferre on 29th October 2009

The Federal Government is funding a new round of industry visits to China to help promote Australian agriculture to our second largest export market.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the Government would fund six industry visits to China in 2010 and 2011, under the Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement.

Under the program, which has been running for more than two decades, delegates from Australia visit China, and vice versa, to help build closer commercial ties.

Nearly 200 visits between the two countries have been funded since the agreement was signed in 1984, including representatives from the beef, dairy, wool, horticulture, forestry, fisheries, food processing and agricultural economics industries.

Australian agribusinesses, agricultural producers and researchers have until the end of this week to apply for funding under this round of the program.

Australia’s agricultural industries exported almost $3 billion worth of produce to China in 2007-08. In 2008-09, Australian delegations worked to secure new market opportunities in olive oil, low-protein soft wheat and a counter-seasonal trade in cherries.

Mr Burke said China was one of the world’s fastest growing economies and it continued to offer significant new opportunities for Australian agriculture.

“We already export 60% of the food we produce and we will continue working with industry to expand trade opportunities,” he suggested.

All visits in the next funding round must be completed by 31 December 2011. Applications close 5pm AEST, Friday, 30 October 2009.