Australian dairy exporters keen on FTA with India
Australian dairy exporters have asked the government to push for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India in a bid to improve the access to the country's huge market. Australian agriculture service provider Cargill said that while current demand was growing at 7% a year, production was rising by just 4% and India was set to become a net importer by 2020, according to AAP news report. The local dairy exporters were now seeking the FTA with India in the face of stiff tariff barriers of between 30 and 60% on dairy products. Dairy Australia, the national services body for dairy farmers, said the FTA with India with concessions around dairy tariffs “would definitely be a start”. Dairy Australia's International Trade Development manager Peter Myers said, “Access to India's market remained a challenge for Australian exporters.” “Australia became a complementary supplier into India, not competing with the traditional market,” he said adding Australia diary exporters were presently targeting India's growing middle class set to reach 200 million by 2020, from about 70 million. He further said that as India becomes more sophisticated, its rising middle class as well as women entering or returning to the labour force can act as a spur to growth for milk products. Australian dairy product exports to India stood at 1.2 million dollars in 2013-14.
September 23, 2015 | 4:00pm IST.