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Camellia Aebischer

BY CAMELLIA AEBISCHER

Australia, Indonesia sign FTA

Scheduled signing of trade agreement expected to end months-long period of uncertainty for exporters

Australia, Indonesia sign FTA

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Australian trade minister, Simon Birmingham met with Enggartiasto Lukita, trade minister for Indonesia and signed a highly anticipated free trade agreement (FTA).

The deal was planned to be signed before the end of 2018, however, tensions surrounding the location of Australia’s embassy in Israel rattled the leaders’ relationship.

Thankfully, today the agreement was signed opening up opportunity to Australian horticulture.

“Our farmers will export more produce because of this deal,” Australian minister for agriculture, David Littleproud said. “Preferential deals will be put in place or duty will be removed for more than 99 per cent of exports to Indonesia,” he added.

Citrus and vegetables are reportedly sectors that will benefit, and Ausveg national manager, Michael Coote told ABC News the agreement could have Australia’s major carrot and potato growers back on Indonesia’s supermarket shelves “almost immediately”.

“Indonesia is a major trading partner close to our shores, so there are benefits in terms of reduced freight times.

“Having access back into this market that is so close, has such a large population and does have an appetite for Australian produce is a real boom for the vegetable industry,” he said.

Littleproud said improved duty-free quotas will be in place for citrus and other horticultural products.

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