Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health

Local Media

Casey – Cardinia Region Benefit from China Australia Free Trade

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Farmers across Casey and Cardinia will continue to benefit from the ground-breaking China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which came into effect a year ago.

ChAFTA has given businesses across Kooweerup, Lang Lang and Clyde a competitive advantage that is driving exports and creating new jobs across the region. The agreement signed by the Turnbull Government represents the most favourable trade deal China has ever done with a developed economy.

Casey and Cardinia exporters are now in pole position to capitalise on China’s growing middle class and their increasing demand for the high quality goods and services we offer.

Exporters from the food agriculture industry have been big winners from ChAFTA.

Kooweerup’s renowned asparagus producers will continue to benefit from the reduction in tariff rates from 10.4% to 5.2% (December 2015 – January 2017). In 2015, Australian producers were responsible for 87% of asparagus exports to China and the further reduction of tariffs to 0% by 2019 will ensure that further growth can occur within our region’s export markets.

Similarly, in the beef and dairy industry the reduction of tariffs into China has benefitted Australian exporters. Exports of fresh cheese have grown by 28.4% over the past year and is expected to be worth $34.8 million, while exports of boneless beef have risen by 18% lifting the value of the industry to $66.3 million.

In January 2017 another round of tariff cuts will enable businesses in Casey and Cardinia to improve their competitive advantage over major competitors like France, the US and Canada.

Every year, tariffs on Australian exports will be cut until they reach zero, allowing the asparagus grower of Kooweerup or the dairy farmer in Lang Lang to invest in their business and employ more local residents.

ChAFTA is unlocking exciting opportunities in our largest export market and our region will be one of the major beneficiaries of the growing food and agribusiness industry.

For more information on how your business can take advantage of ChAFTA visit: http://www.austrade.gov.au/

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