Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

15 September 2018

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Asia Trade Mission to further boost economy and increase investment

The Tasmanian Liberal Government’s Trade and Investment Mission to Asia has identified many new opportunities to increase trade which will further boost investment and jobs in regional Tasmania.

Tasmania’s exports are worth more than $3.5 billion annually to the state’s economy and have increased by 36 per cent over the past year with China and Hong Kong both key markets driving the export growth.

As Minister for Primary Industries and Water I led the agribusiness leg of the Trade Mission in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing along with more than 20 local Tasmanian businesses and industry representatives.

I was proud to represent the Tasmanian agricultural and food sector and can state with conviction that our products like fruit, seafood, red meat, wool, dairy, wine and whisky are regarded as world-class and increasingly sought after in Asian markets.

Importantly, this Trade Mission was able to connect Tasmania producers and industry representatives with key buyers, importers and trade experts which is expected to further boost export demand and creating more jobs in Tasmania.

The first leg of the mission included Asia’s most important trade show Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong which attracts about 1300 buyers and decision makers from more than 76 countries.

Meeting with several Tasmanian exporters including Houston’s Farm, Hansen Orchards and Reid Fruits, and some of their major Asian buyers, proved international buyers regard Tasmanian produce highly and how valuable these trade missions are for delivering tangible business opportunities.

On the second leg, business and trade meetings included:

  • an extremely productive visit to the Red Sun Woollen Mill near Shanghai to see Tasmanian wool grown at Ross being processed which will bear the Tasmanian brand through to the final garment.
  • a tour of the Huizhan Fruit and Vegetable Market in Shanghai and meeting with a number of importers of Tasmanian fruit.
  • a tour of the Beijing Wholesale Fish Market to discuss Tasmanian salmon opportunities.
  • an Agri and Agtech investor roundtable.
  • meetings with decision makers and influencers from organisations such as importers, distributors and retailers of Tasmanian products.
  • A productive discussion with senior officials from the China Entry and Exit Inspection Quarantine Association on trade market access for Tasmanian agricultural products.

It is clear that Tasmania produces what the rest of the world wants and the widespread knowledge about our quality produce and unique Tasmanian brand has been enhanced by the successful visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014 and previous trade missions to East Asia in 2017 and South Asia in 2016.

Nine of our biggest export markets are in Asia and China recently become our first ever $1 billion export market.

After such productive discussions over the last week I am even more confident that strong export growth will continue in our agricultural sector.

The Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to support Tasmanian agribusiness to develop the strong growth in trade and reach our target to grow the farm gate value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.

The third and final leg of the mission is being led by Tourism Tasmania between 17 and 20 September, taking in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur to continue the growth of our reputation across Asia as a must-see tourist destination.

More Media Releases from Sarah Courtney

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