ABARES Asian export markets report welcomed by NFF

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st October 2013

A new paper on food consumption trends in Asia from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has been welcomed by Australian farming body the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF).

The report, ‘What Asia Wants’, was released by Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, at the ABARES conference in Darwin on 10 October 2013 and examines opportunities in Asia for Australian farmers, agribusinesses and exporters.

The NFF said the report gives farmers and agribusinesses a “greater insight into the burgeoning markets in Asia”, with food consumption in the region expected to increase significantly due to larger populations and higher incomes.

“This report was instigated in response to a key ask from the NFF – ensuring that work is done beyond the farm gate to build understanding of our international markets and to improve opportunities for our sector to sell produce,” said Duncan Fraser, NFF President.

“The resulting report into food needs and preferences in Asia is an important tool for the farming sector to understand changing market drivers and adapt production accordingly, but – as Minister Joyce recognised – for our sector to be able to capitalise on the Asian opportunity, the Government must reduce market barriers and commit to comprehensive free trade agreements,” Mr Fraser said.

European report shows increased trade barriers

The release of the ABARES report comes as another report, from the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade, has found an increase in potentially trade-restrictive measures imposed by countries that trade with the European Union – many of whom also trade with Australia.

“The EU report shows that over the past 13 months, 154 new potentially trade-restrictive measures have been introduced by the EU’s trading partners,” Mr Fraser said.

“Many of the countries employing these tactics are countries that Australia also trades, and competes for market access, with – and some sit within the Asian region,” Mr Fraser said. “This shows why it is so important for the Government to focus on reducing barriers and committing to free trade agreements, as Australian farmers are currently operating on a very uneven playing field,” he said.

The NFF said it was pleased to see the Australian Government acknowledge trade agreements as a key priority.

ABARES has a new report on Asian export markets