The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes the signing today of a trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia, the latest in a series of free trade agreements which all help support a more vibrant industry.

AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, says the bilateral agreement, known as Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), will strengthen ties and create new opportunities with a key trade partner.

“This is an agreement that the industry has been anticipating for some time. While the deal was delayed last year, we congratulate all involved for working hard to find a way forward.

“Trade between Australia and Indonesia was valued at $11.2 billion in 2017-2018, and we export about 50,000 tonnes of meat to Indonesia each year, so this agreement is certainly welcome news and a great shot in the arm for Australian exporters.”

Key advantages under the IA-CEPA for red meat exporters include immediate reductions (and eventual elimination) of tariffs for boxed beef and sheepmeat lines not already addressed under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA).

“This agreement is important for the Australian rural and regional economy, and we’re very pleased with today’s news,” Patrick said. “Our industry employs about 100,000 people and trade agreements like this will help it grow and thrive. But there’s more to be done to secure the future of our industry.

“In particular, we must ensure that while we’re working to create strong trade agreements we have an equally strong resolve around managing and removing non-tariff barriers to trade. The Harris report in 2017 found that the red meat export industry has over $3 billion AUD in lost opportunities in export earnings.”

AMIC is the peak council representing retailers, processors and smallgoods manufacturers and is the only industry association representing the post-farmgate Australian meat industry.