Su­gar sweet­ens the deal

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

THE Aus­tralian Su­gar In­dus­try Al­liance (ASA) says that the im­por­tant Aus­tralia-Korea Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA) is a step closer as the text of the pro­posed agree­ment has been posted on the govern­ment web­sites in both Aus­tralia and Korea.

It is a some­what un­usual step to post an agree­ment pub­licly be­fore it is signed by both coun­tries, but ASA sup­ports the additional layer of trans­parency that the move brings.

ASA wel­comes the agree­ment posted for pub­lic ac­cess, say­ing it would elimin- ate tar­iffs for raw su­gar in the trade agree­ment with Korea. South Korea is the largest ex­port mar­ket for Aus­tralia’s raw su­gar, with sales ex­ceed­ing one mil­lion tonnes an­nu­ally, val­ued at some $ 500 mil­lion, mak­ing the Kore­aAus­tralia FTA an im­por­tant one for Aus­tralia’s sug­ar­cane in­dus­try. The im­proved terms of trade flow­ing from the FTA will make Korea an even more at­trac­tive mar­ket for Aus­tralian raw su­gar.

‘‘The FTA will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant boost to Aus­tralia’s raw su­gar ex­ports by re­mov­ing the raw su­gar tar­iff as soon as the agree­ment en­ters into force and will in­crease ac­cess for white su­gar over 18 years, when the 35 per cent tar­iff will be elim­i­nated,’’ says chair­man of the Aus­tralian Su­gar In­dus­try Al­liance, John Pratt.

‘‘ The Korea- Aus­tralia FTA con­firms that trade agree­ments can be reached that in­clude the so-called sen­si­tive prod­ucts such as su­gar and will en­sure the long­stand­ing trade re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries can con­tinue to grow," he says. All eyes will now be on world trade ne­go­ti­a­tions to fol­low suit and in­clude full ac­cess for su­gar.

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