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New wool contract for China trade.



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

 

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER & MINISTER FOR TRADE, TIM FISCHER MP

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES & FORESTRY, MARK VAILE MP

 

NEW WOOL CONTRACT FOR CHINA TRADE

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mark Vaile, today announced a major breakthrough in negotiations with China on improvements to the wool trade.

 

The Ministers announced an in-principle agreement had been reached between the Chinese, Australian and New Zealand wool industries on the form of a new model contract for use in the wool trade with China, following high-level industry talks in Melbourne last week.

 

“There have been difficulties with wool contracts for a number of years with losses to Australian traders in the hundreds of millions of dollars and problems regarding the quality of wool deliveries received by Chinese buyers.

 

“The in-principle agreement reached in the form of a new contract and specific arbitration arrangements for wool, by the Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, will provide greater confidence in entering commercial contracts,” Mr Fischer said.

 

“The negotiating groups are to be congratulated for their work towards reaching this agreement and for the willingness shown on all sides to resolve the difficult issues involved. The China trade, worth over $800 million is critical to the Australia wool industry and this is an important development,” Mr Vaile said.

 

The Ministers encouraged both exporters and importers to adopt the use of the new contract as soon as Chinese authorities confirm the arrangements. Its use will not only reduce costly contractual disputes, but help to ensure that mills achieve higher quality products.

 

“It is important to note that agreement has also been reached to involve international wool arbitrators in the Chinese arbitration arrangements, which will provide the wool trade with greater confidence in using this mechanism where disputes still arise,” Mr Fischer said.

 

Both Ministers hoped that the flexible and co-operative spirit in which these negotiations had been undertaken would flow over to other issues in the China-Australia wool trade.

 

23 November 1998

 

Contacts:

Howard Conkey — Vaile’s office on (02) 6277 7520

Brendan Egan — Fischer’s office on (02) 6277 7420

 

 

 

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