AUSSIE FM: ALBANESE’S BEIJING VISIT HINGES UPON PROGRESS ON WINE EXPORTS RESUMPTION
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Source: Senator for SA/Facebook
Australia's foreign minister Penny Wong said prime minister Anthony Albanese’s Beijing visit will not be scheduled unless there is progress on resolving trade disputes on wine with China.
The invitation from China for Albanese to visit was made earlier this year and was reaffirmed during Australia trade minister Don Farrell’s Beijing visit earlier this month.
Wong told a Senate committee today that the Albanese government has a principled and consistent position that all trade impediments should be removed.
"We've seen some progress [on] coal, copper and timber, there's a process underway on barley and I, trade minister Don Farrell and the prime minister have made clear that we would want to see a similar pathway on wine.”
"I would say that we would want to see continued progress and the most positive circumstances for any visit by the prime minister, and I think China would understand that."
The Australian prime minister himself has advised other world leaders attending the G7 Summit held in Japan over the weekend that he will be visiting China.
"I've informed our partners that I do intend to travel to China at some time in the future," Albanese said yesterday.
"And that has been welcomed as well.
"You need dialogue to get understanding, and you also need dialogue to avoid miscalculations, which has been a concern."
If the visit goes ahead, it would be the first by an Australian leader since former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull travelled to China in 2016.
Australian exporters are hoping that China will lift barriers that blocked exports of wine, barley, beef, coal, copper, cotton, seafood, sugar and timber costing them up to AUD20 billion (USD9.7b) a year.
Australia’s wine exports to China were almost wiped out after Beijing slapped up to 218 percent of punitive tariffs. The trade shrunk from AUD1.3 billion in 2019 to only AUD12m in 2022.
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