Asian export tariff reductions for producers in 2017
ACCESS to lucrative Asian markets has become easier for Southern Downs stone fruit producers due to new tariff cuts, which came into effect this month.
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the trade agreements - secured by the Coalition Government - gave exporters a significant competitive advantage.
"This not only makes it easier and cheaper to export our goods and services to the world but also means more jobs created locally,” Mr Littleproud said.
"January 2017 marked the start of new tariff cuts and now our apricot exports to China enjoy a tariff cut by more than half.
"Before the China Agreement came into force, local apricot exports faced a 25% tariff, now it's 10% with further significant cuts to happen in the coming years.
"The New Year also means our plum exports to Korea - which faced a tariff of 45% before the Korean Export agreement - now only face a tariff of 27%, with further cuts to come.
"It's also exciting that other Southern Downs produce - such as wine and fresh cherries - are already entering Korea tariff free.
"There's also more good news to come with tariffs to be cut in April for exports to Japan.”
Mr Littleproud said local exporters also now have an international airport just down the road in Toowoomba, opening up huge potential for expansion as Maranoa products can go directly from the Darling Downs to Asia.
"During November last year, the Federal Coalition Government officially announced the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport was classified a regional international gateway under Australia's air services arrangements, which was great news for Maranoa,” he said.
"This announcement delivered our election commitment to support the airport in attracting increased international services as part of the regional package and proves our commitment to growing regional communities in Maranoa.
"This decision means producers and other businesses in my electorate can reap the rewards of a localised freight service, opening the door to more easily sell fresh produce in the growing Asian market.”