Australia-Malaysia sign food trade accord

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Free trade agreement International trade

Australia-Malaysia sign food trade accord
A free trade agreement between Australia and Malaysia will open a robust corridor for food trade between the two countries, experts say.

The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will ease tariffs between the two countries when it goes into force on January 1 2013.

The agreement will reduce tariffs on dairy, food manufacturing, wine, automotive, iron and steel products as well as permit Australian businesses to invest in Malaysian firms.

For the food sector Malaysia will eliminate virtually all tariffs on processed foods.

Tim Wilson, director, IP and Free Trade Unit and Climate Change Policy at the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the agreement opens enormous economic opportunities within the Malaysian market to sell affordable fresh food and dairy products.

“The benefit for Australian exports is to increase their access to the Malaysian market and provide affordable food that can be used to make processed foods for Malaysian domestic consumption and export,”​ said Wilson.

He said cheaper Malaysian inputs into processed food would enable the local food industry to be more internationally competitive.

“There may need to be very minor adjustment for the Australian food industry, but it will generally be a beneficiary of the benefits of free trade,”​ he remarked.

“potentially a very large growth market”

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) agreed the country’s AU$108bn food and grocery manufacturing sector will benefit from the pact.

“This agreement will allow Australian food and grocery manufacturers to continue to innovate and explore new markets while maintaining a competitive manufacturing base within Australia,”​ said Dr Geoffrey Annison, acting chief executive of the AFGC.

“Industry looks forward to supplying safe, high quality, nutritional products for what is potentially a very large growth market,”​ said Annison.

Dr Annison however added a cautious note, stating that to really take advantage of the Malaysian opportunity, it was still incumbent on the government to get the right policy settings here in Australia to support industry’s competitiveness.

He welcomed arrangements that will make it easier for exporters to enter the market via simplified declaration of origin documentation.

He emphasised the arrangement would not translate to any lowering of Australian food import standards.

“Australia has very high quarantine standards surrounding food imports no matter where they are from. It is a politically sensitive issue. There will be no lowering of standards for Malaysian products,”​ he said.

“But so long as they are treated and packaged appropriately they should hopefully not act as a barrier to entry or add unnecessary costs,”​ he added.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Content provided by Givaudan | 23-Feb-2024 | Product Brochure

Aside from conducting desk research to understand snacking preferences and taste profiles among consumers in the Asia Pacific, Givaudan also embarked on...

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Analyzing the unknown threat from Microplastics

Content provided by Agilent Technologies | 06-Nov-2023 | Infographic

Microplastics are any plastic-derived synthetic solid particle or polymeric matrix, ranging in size from 1 µm to 5 mm and insoluble in water.

Functional Beverage Market Insights in ASPAC

Functional Beverage Market Insights in ASPAC

Content provided by Glanbia Nutritionals | 06-Jul-2023 | Product Brochure

High growth ahead for protein beverages makes Asia Pacific (ASPAC) the market to watch. Consumer research shows new usage occasions, key consumption barriers,...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Webinars

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast