Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce is attending the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Berlin this week as a part of Australia’s push to strengthen agriculture exports and build new and stronger trading partnerships.
Mr Joyce will also Chair a Ministerial session on water access at the 9th Berlin Agricultural Ministers’ Conference and will participate in the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture.
“Strong international partnerships are essential to a stable and resilient global economy and it’s important that Australia is an active member in international forums like the G20,” Mr Joyce said.
“Sustainable agricultural growth and sustainable water use are vital for global economic and political stability, and I look forward to meeting with G20 and other agriculture ministers to discuss the fundamental role of good agriculture and water policies to achieve this.”
Mr Joyce said there is much Australia can contribute at an international level by sharing Australia’s experiences, successes and challenges.
Equally, there is a great deal Australia can learn from its partners who face similar challenges, he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister will chair a ministerial session on water access during the 9th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference and will also join other agricultural leaders on a high level panel hosted by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
During his visit, Mr Joyce will meet with ministerial counterparts from a number of Australia’s key trading partners for discussions on agricultural market access and trade.
“Australia is an advocate of open markets as we understand that farmers need efficient access to markets, both domestic and international, to obtain the best price for their products so they can be profitable and invest in innovation. Profitable and innovative farmers make for sustainable agriculture sectors,” he said.
As a bloc the EU is Australia’s second largest agricultural trading partner and an important destination for premium Australian agricultural and food products.
“Discussions with EU countries will provide a good chance to promote Australia’s credentials as a supplier of safe and high quality agricultural products and to discuss the opportunities for our agricultural sectors under a proposed Australia-EU free-trade agreement,” Mr Joyce said.
“I welcome the opportunity to strengthen Australia’s already strong agricultural and trade relationship with the EU.”
The EU is an important agricultural trading partner for Australia, with exports worth A$3.1
billion in 2015, and imports from the EU worth AUD 5.3 billion.
The G20 membership represents 80% of world agricultural trade.