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Free Trade Agreement with China to Benefit Australian Fisheries

18 November 2014

AUSTRALIA - A Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China will present big opportunities Australia's fisheries and aquaculture sectors, according to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck.

“This historic agreement opens up a world of opportunity for our fisheries industry to further supply this growing market,” Senator Colbeck said.

“All tariffs on seafood will be eliminated in four years—this presents significant opportunities for increasing volumes of premium Australian seafood exports, such as rock lobster, abalone, prawns, tuna and salmon.”

“Our current exports are largely based on these high-end products and our industry is in a great position to continue to grow these seafood exports.”

“While we know lower tariffs into China won’t mean that we will send all our products there, it will give our producers and exporters a better position against our competitors in this important market.”

Senator Colbeck also emphasised the growing global demand for seafood, particularly in China.

“Seafood is now the most consumed animal protein in the world—ahead of poultry, pork and beef—and global consumption is up 26 per cent over the past 15 years,” Senator Colbeck said.

“Chinese demand for seafood in particular is booming—seafood consumption per capita in China has increased 57 per cent since 2000.”

“There is also expected growth in demand from Chinese consumers for higher-end seafood products, much of which will need to be imported.”

“We said before the election we would conclude free trade agreements with China, South Korea and Japan—and we have delivered on that promise.”

“Our producers and exporters are now in a far better position against our major competitors than they were in 2013,” Senator Colbeck said.

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