LETTER: Latin America is a market opportunity

MANY Australians don’t realise a free trade agreement (FTA) does not win market access for our produce.

It often takes years of negoti­ations to agree on export protocols that protect the biosecurity of both nations before access is granted.

I want to reinforce our longstanding and fruitful agricultural relationship with the US while building closer relationships with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

The value of two-way agriculture trade between Australia and the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina was worth a combined $7.6 billion in 2017.

Mexico and Brazil are significant emerging agricultural markets and growing those relationships is vital.

Australia and Mexico recently signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, our first joint FTA.

We are also in negotiations for the Australia-Pacific Alliance FTA, which includes Mexico.

In the budget I announced ­add­itional agricultural counsellors would help get Aussie produce on shelves in key emerging markets. These counsellors will be placed in regions where we are ­negotiating or have recently concluded FTAs.

The G20 meeting in Argentina will be an opportunity to strengthen our trade relationship with G20 countries, whose markets were worth a combined $37.6 billion for Australia’s agricultural exports in 2017.

I will co-chair the inaugural ­Australia-Argentina high-level agri­culture dialogue with my Argentinian counterpart in Buenos Aires. Argentina is home to 43 million people and is one of the most developed markets in Latin America.

Our government’s free trade agenda has done a great job in opening up new markets for Aussie agricultural produce.

David Littleproud,

Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister

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