Wine sector welcomes FTA progress

Wine sector welcomes FTA progress

Horticulture
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PROGRESS on two key free-trade agreements has the potential to grow markets for Australia's wine industry, according to the Australian Grape & Wine Incorporated.

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PROGRESS on two key free-trade agreements has the potential to grow markets for Australia's wine industry, according to the Australian Grape & Wine Incorporated.

The group has welcomed an announcement from the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties that final reports for the Indonesian and Hong Kong FTA's have been released.

The reports highlight the range of benefits and future potential these two FTAs will provide Australian businesses.

Australian Grape & Wine strongly urges bipartisan support from all Australian Political parties on A-HKFTA and IA-CEPA for their speedy ratification by the Australian Parliament.

Australian Grape & Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene said the Australian wine sector was extremely supportive of the benefits of free trade.

"Progressing these two FTAs presents a range of direct and indirect opportunities for the sector," he said.

"The IA-CEPA is an important step in strengthening the Australia-Indonesia relationship and may provide future benefits to Australian winemakers and grapegrowers over time.

"While the A-HKFTA presents a range of opportunities for Australian food and wine exporters, Australian wine businesses will benefit from the inclusion of a specific wine Annex which helps to streamline technical requirements such as wine labelling and certification."

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Mr Battaglene said the FTA also included technical wine-related provisions.

"These provisions go a long way towards providing greater certainty of market access and reducing the cost of doing business" he said.

"Technical barriers to trade can be the greatest hurdle to profitable trade.

"For this reason, we will continue to support efforts to achieve greater harmonisation of trading requirements, and encourage the Australian government to include technical annexes specific to wine in Australia's FTAs."

Australian wine businesses exported more than $100 million worth of wine to Hong Kong in 2018 and maintained a strong market share at high price points, particularly for red wines.

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