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Growth opportunities in food exports to Asia

Growth opportunities in food exports to Asia  article image
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Anthony Byrne has highlighted the growth in opportunities to export food products to the Asian region in his address to the Australian Food and Grocery Council Industry Leaders Conference yesterday. Byrne said the size of the food, beverage and grocery industry was comparable to mining, contributing 2.5 percent to Australia's gross domestic product. He pointed out that Asia's growing middle class, consumer concerns about food safety and quality, and regional trade liberalisation would stand Australia in good stead: "Australia's brand as a clean and green nation producing reliable, healthy products is strong platform to take advantage of both rising disposable incomes and changing consumer preferences across the region." Trade figures for the 2008/09 financial year show that Japan was once again Australia's largest food export market, with six Asia-Pacific countries in our top ten export destinations for food. Byrne noted that the ASEAN free trade agreement (AANZFTA) with the 10 nations of the Association of South East Asian Nations and New Zealand will further enhance opportunities in the region through the reduction of tariffs and improvement of market access.

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