THE Murray region is benefiting from Australia’s free trade agreement with China, according to local Federal MP Damian Drum.
Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the groundbreaking China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which Mr Drum said had given Murray businesses a competitive advantage which is driving exports and creating new jobs.
‘‘ChAFTA is the most favourable trade deal China has ever done with a developed economy,’’ he said.
‘‘It has put our exporters in pole position to capitalise on China’s growing middle class and their increasing demand for the high quality goods and services we offer.’’
Mr Drum said businesses exporting milk powders and bottled wine had been big winners from the deal.
In the first three quarters of 2016, as tariffs on milk powders and bottled wine were cut, their export value to China increased significantly.
Mr Drum said another round of cuts would be on January 1. ‘‘Every year, those tariffs will be cut again for Australia until they reach zero, building on the competitive edge ChAFTA is already providing for Murray exporters.
‘‘ChAFTA is unlocking exciting possibilities to our largest export market.’’