India and Australia have reached an interim outcome in free trade agreement negotiations that will reduce tariffs on Australian citrus exports by 50%.
When enacted, the interim agreement will allow the entry of 13,700 tons of Australian citrus into India at a reduced tariff of 15%. The agreement coincides with a renewed effort by Citrus Australia to increase exports to the subcontinent.
The citrus industry is one of the largest exporters of fresh fruit in Australia. As much as $540 million of fresh Australian citrus is exported each year. Citrus Australia believes the subcontinent, including India, is a potentially significant growth area for Australian citrus exports.
Negotiations for the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement have been underway since 2011. Reduction of the import tariff for citrus is seen as pivotal to increasing exports to India.
“We commend the Australian government for their efforts in securing tariff concessions for Australian citrus exports as part of the historic deal,” Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said. “The Australian citrus industry is appreciative of the efforts by Trade Minister Dan Tehan, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their continued work on this important agreement. Reducing tariffs from 30% to 15% will prove beneficial for both Australian exporters and Indian importers.”
“We look forward to developing long-term relations with business leaders and government in India,” Hancock added. “It’s a country with such a rich culture and a vibrancy, and we see great opportunities for mutual benefit for traders in both countries and the end consumer.”
Citrus Australia is hopeful that the implementation date of the new agreement could be as soon as July, which would benefit the 2022 season. Discussions between the two countries will continue later this year.
Source: Citrus Australia
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