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Government- industry action needed on market access: report



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JOINT STATEMENT

THE MINISTER FOR TRADE, TIM FISCHER, AND THE MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND TOURISM, JOHN MOORE

7 March 1997 58/97

GOVERNMENT-INDUSTRY ACTION NEEDED ON MARKET ACCESS: REPORT

A report on the priorities and strategies of the processed food industry says that joint industry- government action could lead to better access to international markets for our processed food exports.

The report, Expanding Processed Food Exports, was launched today by Senator David Brownhill on behalf of the Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer, and the Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism, John Moore.

Mr Fischer and Mr Moore are members of the Prime Minister’s Supermarket to Asia Council and Mr Fischer chairs the Council’s Working Group on Market Access, which received the report today.

“We welcome the opinions of the processed food industry on future key export markets and market access priorities,” Mr Moore said.

Senator Brownhill said the report provided an action agenda for consideration by the working group, government at large and industry.

“This agenda for cooperative action could increase our exports of processed foods,” he said.

Senator Brownhill and the Ministers said there was a need for an extensive data base of market access information, and for government and industry to find a mechanism for reviewing market access priorities. '

“Improved access for our processed food exports has the potential to lead to more investment and jobs in regional Australia,” Mr Moore said.

The study also found that tariffs and labelling requirements remain major impediments to exporting.

COMMONWEALTH p a r l i a m e n t a r y LIBRARY

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Mr Moore said he was encouraged by the evolution of the processed food industry.

“Many more food processing firms are now moving from opportunistic exporting to a position where it is part of the day-to-day business,” he said. “Small to medium-sized enterprises are also making this transition.”

The report said that the dynamics of deliberate exporting has placed the industry in a transition period, resulting in the need for further research into a number of issues. These include more research into links between exports, investment and employment growth.

The Processed Food market Access Committee (PFMAC) commissioned the study by International Trade Strategies. The PFMAC, a government-industry body, wanted to identify industry priorities for market access and seek ways to remove barriers so government and industry could work better together.

The report is based on a survey of 65 companies and interviews with key executives in 23 of those.

Contact: David Kelly

CMR490 Mr Fischer’s Office

Ph 06 277 7420

Cheryl Cartwright Mr Moore’s Office Ph 06 277 7580

Paul Tighe DFAT Ph 06 261 2688

Ray Jones DIST Ph 06 213 7508