Welcome news for wine sector, as Hong Kong and Indonesia FTA’s progress

Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated (Australian Grape & Wine) has welcomed the announcement made on 9 October 2019 from the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) of the final reports for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) and Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA).

The reports highlight the range of benefits and future potential these two free trade agreements (FTAs) will provide Australian businesses. Australian Grape & Wine strongly urges bipartisan support from all Australian Political parties on A-HKFTA and IA-CEPA for their speedy ratification by the Australian Parliament.

Australian Grape & Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene said, “the Australian wine sector is extremely supportive of the benefits of free trade and progressing these two FTAs presents a range of direct and indirect opportunities for the sector.”

“The IA-CEPA is an important step in strengthening the Australia-Indonesia relationship and may provide future benefits to Australian winemakers and grape growers over time. While the A-HKFTA presents a range of opportunities for Australian food and wine exporters, Australian wine businesses will benefit from the inclusion of a specific wine Annex which helps to streamline technical requirements such as wine labelling and certification.”

“It is great to see yet another Australian Free Trade Agreement incorporating technical wine related provisions. These provisions go a long way towards providing greater certainty of market access and reducing the cost of doing business,” said Battaglene.

Technical barriers to trade can be the greatest hurdle to profitable trade. For this reason, we will continue to support efforts to achieve greater harmonisation of trading requirements, and encourage the Australian Government to include technical annexes specific to wine in Australia’s Free Trade Agreements.

Australian wine businesses exported more than $100 million worth of wine to Hong Kong in 2018 and maintained a strong market share at high price points, particularly for red wines.

“Australian Grape & Wine urges all parties of government to ensure the agreement passes through the parliamentary process as quickly as possible, in order for our winemakers and winegrape growers to capture the new opportunities in these markets,” said Battaglene.

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