Australia’s beef, dairy and wine producers have emerged clear winners with Australia and China today signing a historic free trade agreement.

As the removal or reduction of tariffs comes into play, are our Australian beef, dairy and wine producers’ best positioned to take their place on the world stage as premium providers in the Chinese market? Tony Pititto, National Head of Food & Beverage, Grant Thornton Australia outlines what our producers need to consider.

“Australian food & agri producers will now need to ensure that they have undertaken appropriate market research to fully understand the opportunities which will be opening up in China and its various markets.

“Whilst the FTA will help Australian producers decrease their reliance on the Australian market and its strong supermarket position, developing the right relationships with Chinese customers will be crucial to Australian companies being able to take advantage of greater access to Chinese markets,” said Mr Pititto.

The opportunities from the FTA could further extend to include much needed foreign investment coming into the sector.

“Our global research indicates approximately 1/3 of all Australian food & beverage companies surveyed will look at acquisitions in the next 12 months, and a further 1/3 will look at selling their organisations or businesses over the same period.

“The FTA will, in some cases, increase the investment level at which approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board is required (estimated to increase from $248 million to $1 billion). With this reduced regulation, the industry faces a greater wave of acquisitions, and we expect interest from Asian investors in the sector to continue to grow. Australian producers looking to sell should consider their succession planning and exit strategies to ensure they are well positioned to take advantage of the incoming investment opportunities about to come our way,” said Mr Pititto.

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For more information, please contact:

Helina Lilley
National Public Relations Manager
+61 2 8297 2421
0437 725 520
E helina.lilley@au.gt.com

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