Robb backs Australian agriculture at Cairns Group meeting

Media release

2 December 2013

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb promoted agricultural trade reform today while co-chairing the 38th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting in Bali with his counterpart, Indonesia’s Minister for Trade Gita Wirjawan.

This followed Mr Robb’s meeting earlier in the day with Cairns Group Farm Leaders, which was chaired by President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Mr Brent Finlay, and included other Australian food and agricultural industry representatives.

“Australia will continue to make every effort in working with other World Trade Organization (WTO) members to secure a meaningful final package at Bali. We want a package that includes food and agriculture agreed at the Ministerial Conference. This is important for Australia, as well as to support food security and economic growth in developing countries,” Mr Robb said.

In his discussions with Cairns Group Ministerial counterparts, Mr Robb said the Group’s farmers and food industry were ready and able to provide a greater variety of quality food and agricultural products than any one country could produce alone.

“This will be the century of food and water security. Global markets are changing and increased demand will only be met through increased investment, improved productivity and more open trade. Australia is extremely well placed to help meet future demand given agriculture is one of our country’s leading strengths.”

Mr Robb will address the main Plenary Session of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference on Wednesday morning.

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