AUSVEG welcomes the announcement that tariffs on horticultural products being imported into China will be removed within the next four years under an historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and China. 

Under the current arrangement Australian vegetable exports are taxed at 10 to 13 per cent on average in China. 

“AUSVEG welcomes this agreement, which is expected to boost horticultural industries through significant tariff reductions. The FTA could potentially open up Chinese export markets for the Australian vegetable industry and provide further opportunities for expansion and profitability,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew MacDonald.    

“This agreement will cement China as a key destination for Australian vegetable exports, and it is hoped that this will benefit regional communities across the country by creating jobs and boosting economies.” 

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers. 

“Until now vegetable exports to China have been low and market access has been difficult. Combined with substantial regulatory barriers our growers have had a hard time accessing the Chinese market,” said Mr MacDonald. 

“While decreasing tariffs is an important step, we need to aim toward better market access through continued work in breaking down phytosanitary barriers, and other bureaucratic hurdles, this is a key focus for AUSVEG.” 

In 2013-14, Australia exported more than $2.5 million worth of vegetable products to China. This translated to an increase of vegetable exports to China by almost 50 per cent, compared to the previous year. 

“We have seen large gains in the number of Australian vegetables making it to Chinese shores since 2007-08 and hope that with today’s signing of a Declaration of Intent this pattern continues on its upward trajectory.” 

“The increase in the value of vegetable exports from Australia to China is indicative of the rise in demand for high quality and safe vegetables in the Asian region,” said Mr MacDonald.   

The elimination of tariffs across a selection of horticultural commodities should help to further drive horticultural exports to China and also cements Australia as a long term trading partner with China – paving the way for further negotiations for market access.

  Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0406 836 330, Email: