Beef, dairy and vegetable farmers in Gippsland will benefit from increased export opportunities to Indonesia as the free trade agreement struck between Australia and one of our closest northern neighbours takes effect this week.
Under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), almost 100 per cent of Australian goods exported to Indonesia will now enter duty free or under significantly improved and preferential arrangements.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the elimination and reduction of tariffs on Australian produce would encourage Indonesian importers to buy more of our produce, boosting opportunities and prices for Gippsland farmers.
“For our farmers, the free trade agreement with Indonesia means more market access and more demand for our clean, green Gippsland products,” Mr Chester said.
“The elimination and reduction of tariffs might be a game changer for some exporters: their products will stand before consumers without the additional cost burden of a tariff.
“It gives Gippsland exporters a competitive edge in what is one of the fastest growing economies in the world so they can capitalise on Indonesia’s growing consumer demand for high quality goods and services.”
Under the agreement, there will be
- a 2.5% tariff cut for frozen beef, which previously had a 5% tariff, with the remaining 2.5% eliminated after five years;
- reduced tariffs and improved access across a range of commodities including carrots and potatoes;
- elimination of a 5% tariff on concentrated and sweetened milk and cream; and
- elimination of a 5% tariff on grated and powdered cheese of all kinds.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Indonesian consumption of meat, dairy products, bread-based products and processed food is increasing.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Indonesia was projected to be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050.
“With many restrictive tariff requirements for our exporters being eliminated under this agreement, Indonesia represents a game-changing opportunity for our farmers,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Securing this breakthrough with our sixth largest agricultural export market will help turbo charge trade opportunities in both countries and propel our post-pandemic recovery.
“More dollars will flow into the hip pockets of our beef, cattle, grains and horticultural producers, and into their rural and regional economies on the back of this agreement.”