27 April 2010
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke
Minister for Trade Simon Crean
A new international agreement between Australia and Chile has removed a major trade hurdle and opens the way for greater Australian beef exports to Chile.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the two countries under which Chile will recognise Australia’s beef grading scheme.
This change will remove one of the largest barriers facing Australian beef exports to Chile – the cost of employing Chilean beef graders.
“The beef industry already underpins jobs and economic growth in regional Australia and the Government works hard to expand export opportunities. This comes at an important time when the Australian beef industry is facing challenges from the high value of the Australian dollar,” Mr Burke said.
“Given an expected drop in beef supply from neighbouring markets such as Argentina and Brazil, Australian exporters are now well-positioned to take advantage of that gap in the market,” Trade Minister Simon Crean said.
The Australian meat industry exported A$63 million of beef products to Chile last financial year, representing 92 per cent of total agricultural export revenue earned from Chile.
The MoU was signed on 15 April by Trade Minister Simon Crean and Chile’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alfredo Moreno.
During his recent visit to Latin America, Mr Crean also signed an MoU with Mexico’s Minister for Agriculture, Francisco Mayorga on agricultural cooperation. A similar arrangement was signed with Chile in August last year.
“These cooperative arrangements with Mexico and Chile are forging a strong connection between our governments and agriculture industries, supporting shared research and development in areas including a changing climate, agricultural innovation and biotechnology,” Mr Burke said.
“I am very pleased Australian business, including Australian agriculture, is continuing to strengthen links with Latin America and these MoUs will help that process,” Mr Crean said.
Mr Crean’s office, Clinton Porteous 0403 369 588
Mr Burke’s office, Andrew Bourke 0400 117 570