19 April, 2015
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Australian forest industry representatives will visit Japan and China this week to promote Australian forestry exports and explore new trading opportunities.
Senator Colbeck said the Forest and Forest Industry Market Development Mission: Japan and China would have a particular focus on promoting Australia's forest and wood products industries.
"During this trip, we'll be taking part in high-level discussions with government and industry about possible areas for development and growth for Australian forestry exports," Senator Colbeck said.
Senator Colbeck said China and Japan are key markets for Australian forestry exports--worth $542 million and $394 million respectively.
He said Australia has a reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and clean agricultural products and the delegation would focus on promoting the merits of Australia's sustainable timber industry.
"Australian agricultural exporters are in a good position to look ahead at future trading opportunities with Japan and China thanks to the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) that entered into force in January, and the conclusion of negotiations for the China-Australian Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA)."
"We also expect that this trip will also help us to better understand the Chinese and Japanese forestry sectors and how we can meet the needs of these key markets," he said.
Senator Colbeck will also take the opportunity to promote Australia's seafood export industry and agricultural export industries more broadly.
"China is our biggest agricultural export market and is valued at $9.8 billion, while Japan remains Australia's second largest agricultural export market, valued at around $4 billion.
The Forest and Forest Industry Market Development Mission: Japan and China will run from