AUSTRALIA has continued to record strong increases in agricultural exports to Korea, with the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) providing significant benefits for a range of key agricultural industries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the benefits from KAFTA were another powerful reminder of how critical free trade deals are for our nation's future.
“Improving agricultural market access is a priority for the Coalition Government, as exports underpin the profitability of our $60 billion agriculture sector, boost farmgate returns and support Australian jobs,” Minister Joyce said.
“We worked hard to finalise KAFTA back in 2014, because we knew the significant benefits the tariff cuts could provide for Australia—and we are seeing more and more of those benefits come to fruition.
“Despite strong competition from the US and others, the reduction in beef tariffs from pre-KAFTA 40 per cent down to 26.6 per cent come 1 January 2018, is enabling Australia to remain a key beef supplier to Korea, with our exports worth $1.2 billion in 2016-17.
“Since KAFTA came into force on 12 December 2014, the value of our lamb exports to Korea have increased 298 per cent to $95.7 million in 2016-17, which is also a 96 per cent increase on 2015-16.”
The fifth round of tariff reductions come into effect on January 1.
- In 2016-17, Korea was Australia’s fifth largest agricultural export markets valued at $3.3 billion.
- Once the rollout of KAFTA is complete, 98 per cent of Australia’s agricultural exports to Korea will face zero tariffs.
- Free trade agreements provide significant benefits for exporters, by reducing or eliminating tariffs, so making Australian exports more price competitive in that market.
- The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) entered into force on 12 December 2014.
- The fifth round of tariff cuts under KAFTA will include: the beef tariff falling to 26.6 per cent, down from pre-KAFTA 40 per cent and the tariff on both sheepmeat and goatmeat falling to 11.2 per cent.