Media Release

Minister welcomes Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

5 December 2013

Australia’s agricultural producers will be some of the main beneficiaries of a free trade agreement with Korea with beef, dairy, grains, sugar, horticulture, seafood and wine all achieving better access.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, congratulated the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and the Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, on concluding negotiations on the agreement.

“This is a demonstration of the Coalition Government’s determination to deliver on its election commitments and our determination to provide tangible benefits to producers at the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.

“It’s a great outcome for Australia’s farmers and producers and achieved within the first 100 days of the Coalition Government – something Labor didn’t achieve in its two terms.

“The Korea-Australia FTA will provide important new opportunities for Australian agricultural exporters and give our producers and exporters a more level playing field on which to build our market share.

“The Korea-Australia FTA delivers tariff elimination on key agriculture exports in our fifth largest export market for agricultural, fisheries, forestry and food products – valued at $2.27 billion in 2012-13,” Minister Joyce said.

Modelling by the Centre for International Economics forecast that by 2030 our agricultural exporters could expect to sell 73 per cent more product to Korea than if the agreement was not in place

“The modelling also showed that KAFTA would double our current levels of beef exports to Korea by 2030 – expected to be worth an extra $846 million a year.

“Importantly, the modelling found that without this agreement imports of Australian agricultural goods would decline by 29 per cent by 2030 – left to Labor we’d be going backwards.

“Korea is our largest market for sugar ($495 million in 2012), the third largest market for beef ($646 million in 2012), and an important market for dairy, grain and horticultural products.

The Australian Government will now work closely with Korea on the formal ratification process during which details of the agreement will be made available – a process anticipated to be underway in the first half of 2014.