Following the signing of "Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Working Group Terms of Reference" on March 3th this year, the Council of Agriculture (COA) and Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment have incorporated a commercial dialogue under a new format for the first time into the 17th Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Working Group (AWG) Meeting held today (June 9th) via a video conference. In addition to discussions on issues of mutual concerns such as plant inspection, quarantine, market access, technical exchanges, and agricultural policy, the representatives of the public sector and industrial associations were invited to hold discussions on the theme of “premium food” to expand agricultural trade and investment opportunities between Taiwan and Australia.
The COA points out that Australia is the 8th largest agricultural export market and the 7th largest supplier for Taiwan. Both countries have been long-time partners in agriproducts trade, investment and cooperation which are facilitated through regular AWG meetings. In recent years, the two sides have achieved much important success based on each other’s agricultural priorities, including access to decrowned fresh pineapples from Taiwan into Australia and establishment of organic equivalency recognition. Additionally, Taiwan and Queensland have collaborated on lychee production and disease-resistant bananas. These are the projects of high importance for both Taiwanese and Australian farmers.
At this AWG meeting, Taiwan has proposed cooperation on a number of issues such as mutual recognition of plant variety detection technology, carbon-neutral agriculture, commercialization of microbial agents, upgrading agricultural technology innovation, and sharing of plant phenomics researches. It is expected that two countries can support sustainable agricultural development to benefit consumers on both sides while working together to expand global market opportunities and create a win-win situation through such discussions.
This AWG Meeting is especially highlighted with “premium food,”upon which the delegations from both sides have shared the views ,inclusive of biosecurity, production technology and innovation, food safety, and trade facilitation and modernization and so forth, aiming at agriculture supply chains from producers to consumers. The COA states that the commercial discussions will deepen bilateral public-private partnerships, exploring cross-border agricultural trade and investment opportunities for the mutual benefits of both countries’ farmers and agribusinesses.