Rice industry disappointed at exclusion from China Free Trade Agreement

18 Nov 2014 9:58 AM -

The Australian Government signed a Free Trade Agreement with China yesterday afternoon which will lead to some considerable gains for many agricultural industries and the mining sector. However, the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Inc. (RGA) has been left disappointed with the agreement, which excludes rice.

RGA President, Les Gordon, said the rice industry has worked closely with the Australian Government in their efforts to finalise trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China over the past year, but unfortunately rice has missed out in all three.

“We are disappointed the FTA with China was not as comprehensive as it could have been as it did not include all agricultural products.”

“We are pleased for the agricultural industries that will benefit from this agreement with China over the next few years, given the significance of the Chinese market and the economic benefits the agreement will bring to Australian farmers,” Mr Gordon said.

Australian rice technically already has access to the Chinese market under World Trade Organisation rules but the industry has been waiting for protocols to be finalised for more than 6 years to actually gain access.

“Our hope is that Australian rice growers will benefit from market access into China in the future and our focus now is on finalising import quarantine protocols with Minister Joyce and the Department of Agriculture,” Mr Gordon concluded.

Download the full media release here.