The Australian government has invested A$30.8m in giving Australian producers better access to markets in Asia, which includes the appointment of five new agriculture counsellors.
The five counsellors began work on Australia Day, 26 January, and are based in Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China and Thailand.
“These are key markets for Australia, worth about $13.7 billion in agricultural exports in 2014, and the government consulted widely with industry in determining which markets to establish these new positions in,” Barnaby Joyce, minister for agriculture and water resources, said in a statement.
Joyce said the new positions will strengthen Australia’s representation in key markets such as China and Thailand, while the two new positions in Vietnam and Malaysia will increase Australia’s export potential into these emerging markets.
“The team of counsellors in China will work to ensure our farmers can make the most of the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement that will give so many of our producers preferential market access over international competitors,” Joyce said.
“And we now have a second counsellor in the Middle East, who will work to get a broad range of products into a number of growing and new markets.”
The counsellors are part of a stream of measures being delivered under the Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper, released on 4 July 2015, which comprises A$4bn in investments to help improve international trade and boost the productivity of Australia’s agriculture industry.