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Tuesday, 16 February 1971

(Question No. 807)

SenatorWRIEDT asked the minister representing the Minister for Trade and Indutry, upon notice:

Is it a fact that the Soviet Union is about- to enter into major contracts to import beef; if so. what steps has the Australian Government taken to ensure a share of this market?

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSONThe Minister for Trade and Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Prodintorg, the Soviet Union Meat Import Agency, has signed a further contract to purchase 50,000 tons of Australian beef and mutton for delivery between December 1970 and July 1971. The Australian Meat Board, which played a major role in securing the sale, acted as the contractor in the negotiations with Prodintorg. and will also charter the vessels necessary to carry the meat to Soviet ports.

This new contract to supply meat to the Soviet Union will bring the total quantity of Australian meat purchased by the Soviet Union since 1969 to some 86.000 tons valued at approximately $45m.

The successful negotiation of this new contract follows on vigorous efforts made to improve commercial relations between the Soviet Union and Australia. The signing of the Australian/USSR. Trade Agreement and recent Ministerial visits with associated trade discussions have served to reinforce the efforts of commercial interests. Marketing Boards, our overseas representatives and the Department of Trade and Industry in promoting Australia as an attractive and reliable source of supply

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