Welcoming another FTA (PAFTA)

Roo meat may be headed to Peru with the conclusion of free trade agreement negotiations between the South American country and Australia.

Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia president Ray Borda said commencement of negotiations for the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) represents an exciting opportunity for kangaroo meat exports.

“It’s fantastic, not only are they big meat eaters in Peru but all throughout South America they love the taste of kangaroo,” Mr Borda said.

“If negotiations go well this will be a huge step towards opening up the rest of South America and towards demonstrating how great this product is to the rest of the world.”

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said PAFTA would benefit Australian agricultural exporters of all stripes.

“A Free Trade Agree (FTA) with Peru will ensure that Australian farmers have the opportunity to share in Latin America’s economic growth and be on an even footing with our competitors,” he said.

Trade minister Steven Ciobo also said many of Australia’s exports to Peru are currently blocked by high tariffs, which this FTA would seek to eliminate.

“Australian dairy and sugar exports currently attract tariffs of up to 29%, beef exports face tariffs of up to 17% and sheep meat, wheat, rice and wine also face tariff barriers,” Mr Ciobo said.

“The United States, The European Union and Canada all have FTAs that give them preferential access to Peru – PAFTA will help Australian farmers compete and break into this growing market.”

Mr Ciobo said the agreement would provide a gateway to Latin America, strengthening Australia’s economic relationship with the region and enable businesses to tap into value chains between the Americas and Asia.

“Peru presents a growing opportunity for Australian exporters that this FTA will help unlock,” he said.

“Peru has been one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and the world with annual GDP growth averaging 5.9% (2005-2015).”

Mr Ciobo said the first round of negotiations for PAFTA is to be held in Lima in July.

“Australia and Peru have experience negotiating, so we hope an agreement will be concluded quickly,” he said.