Australian wine exports to Japan set to grow

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st July 2014
Wine exports set to grow in Japan after free trade agreement
Wine exports set to grow in Japan after free trade agreement

The signing of a Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) by Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Tony Abbott “opens the door for increasing wine exports”, according to the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.

Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Strategy & International Affairs General Manager Tony Battaglene said the agreement was good news for the Australian wine industry.

“Resolving the trade agreement with Japan is about developing export opportunities and giving wine a step-up in the evolving Japanese market,” Mr Battaglene said.

“We congratulate the Australian Government for pursuing an ambitious and aggressive trade agenda and in particular the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb for his focus and hard work,” Mr Battaglene said.

Mr Battaglene said the Japanese market showed “great potential” for Australia’s wine exports.

“Currently our sixth largest market by value and volume, wine consumption there is growing rapidly as the younger generation moves away from traditional products to wines,” Mr Battaglene said.

He said the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia was expecting to see strong growth in sparkling and still grape wines, with targeted sales of middle-to-premium Australian wine brands.

“Just look at our major competitors such as Chile which enjoyed significant increases in market share in Japan after completion of its Free Trade Agreement in 2007,” Mr Battaglene said. “Australia now has the opportunity to follow suit,” he said.

The agreement will provide valuable preferential access for Australia’s exports, with the elimination of a 15 per cent import tariff to include bottled, sparkling and bulk wine over seven years.

“The agreement with Japan is a good outcome for Australia’s wine sector, building on the positives from the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement,” Mr Battaglene said. “We look forward to ongoing discussions to open up further trade possibilities including with China,” he said.