SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — GrainGrowers, an Australian grain organization, encouraged Australia’s Federal Parliament to support the passage of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA CEPA) at the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry.

IA-CEPA was signed by Australian and Indonesian leaders in March 2019 and is now awaiting ratification by Australian parliament.

“Trade agreements such as IA-CEPA are very important in improving export opportunities for the Australian grain sector,” said Luke Mathews, GrainGrowers general manager policy and research. “Maintaining a strong free trade agenda that focusses on addressing tariff, quota and non-tariff barriers to trade, is imperative.”

According to GrainGrowers, Indonesia is Australia’s largest wheat market with annual trade volumes typically around 4.2 million tonnes, valued at around A$1.3 billion.

Australia’s two-way trade with Indonesia was valued at A$16.8 billion in 2017-18, making Indonesia Australia’s 13th largest trading partner.

The agreement includes a new quota of 500,000 tonnes of Australian feed grain to Indonesia per year, growing at 5% per annum.

“This feed grain quota is equivalent to 12,000 b-double truckloads of grains and will boost opportunities for Australian farmers and also supporting growth, development and trade opportunities for Indonesia’s food manufacturing, stockfeed and livestock sectors,” Mathews said. “We are also excited that as part of IA CEPA, Indonesia and Australia will develop a grains-specific economic cooperation initiative, the Australia Indonesia Grains Partnership. The partnership will provide the required technical, economic, and social programs to allow the grains and agrifood industries in both countries to flourish.”