Monday, 15 June 2015
Private Members' Business
I congratulate the member for Bass on this fantastic motion. Like his state of Tasmania, South Australia and Australia as a whole value our clean and green products, which are highly valued around the world. Whether it be in Asia or all over the world, clean and green is a great sign of Australian quality in our produce.
Abache, a company I visited just last week with the Minister for Industry and Science, are involved in organic healthcare products. They made mention of this clean and green fact when they had investment from India. They are going to be creating more jobs and expanding due to these opportunities. As we know, we are working on the Indian free trade agreement too.
But going back to the major three free trade agreements we have signed off on with our three largest export markets that account for 61 per cent of our export of goods, I want to explore three main sectors here in this motion today—primary production, services and jobs.
In terms of agriculture—something that is always so important for Australia, where we have a great competitive advantage around the world and are recognised for our expertise—the premium winegrowers of South Australia will benefit from these three agreements. Korea eliminated the 15 per cent tariff on Australian wine in December 2014. Under the China FTA, the tariffs on wine of between 14 and 20 per cent will be eliminated within four years. Tariffs will go on seafood, including abalone, rock lobster and southern bluefin tuna. It will also benefit our horticulture sector, with a range of horticultural products with tariffs ranging from eight to 24 per cent now entering Korea duty-free.
In Japan, there will be quicker tariff elimination on the vast majority of Australian horticulture products, including up to six per cent which has already been eliminated for almonds. Just on almonds, I want to congratulate Almondco, a great company in the Riverland of South Australian, and Brenton Woolston, the managing director. Almondco supply about 40 per cent of Australia's almond production, and their growth has been outstanding in recent years. I know they will be very happy with the free trade agreements in Asia.
In terms of services, and two important areas of education and tourism, there will be big winners from this agreement. South Australia's three universities will benefit, given that the $1.5 billion international education industry is Australia's third largest market. And the Chinese tourism market means that so many inbound tourists from China are constantly arriving on our shores, putting money into our economy and creating jobs—750,000 last financial year. It has been forecast that about 40 per cent of inbound expenditure in tourism growth to 2022-23 will be sourced from China.
In terms of jobs, I want to reflect on a couple of family businesses that have made mention of the opportunities in China just in recent weeks. Yesterday I heard great news from Gaganis, a fine local family business. They will employ another 50 people and grow their head office in Adelaide. Significantly, Gaganis's expansion plans include exporting Australian produce to China, such as flour, lentils, beans and nuts. This family business, located in the seat of Hindmarsh, has set up partnerships with Chinese locals in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Randall Tomich of Tomich Wines, another impressive South Australian family business, has secured a distribution agreement with China's biggest hypermarket chain, RT-Mart, which is set to deliver more than $500 million in annual sales and promote Australian brands.
These deals are not arrived at overnight. Energy and resources is another important sector in South Australia, and there will be significant opportunities from removing tariffs or locking in zero tariffs on resources exports, including iron ore and copper. These two exports account for around half of South Australia's total export value. Let us hear what those in the business sectors and industry and community stakeholders say. Business SA has said about the Korean FTA:
David Basham, from Dairy SA, said about the China FTA:
… it will certainly improve our long-term position and it should also help processors.
The Wine Industry Association of South Australia says the opportunities with the FTAs are enormous, saying:
The recent trade deals with China, Japan and South Korea … offer good reason for renewed optimism in our industry.
The Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson said the China FTA 'will further broaden and deepen an already close relationship on higher education and research between our two countries.' I congratulate Trade Minister Andrew Robb and his team on the fantastic work they have done with these three free trade agreements and look forward to further work on India as we seek to improve our engagement with Asia and broaden our economic opportunities.