Business delegation on SA Premier’s China trip ‘buoyant’ on future outlook

A wine producer travelling in China on a special delegation has expressed confidence Chinese tariffs on Australian wine will be resolved in the short or medium term, with business leaders from both countries “buoyant” about future trade.

Richard Dolan, joint managing director of South Australia’s Bec Hardy Wines, touched down in Beijing on Monday with South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and said the “very strong” people-to-people links between Chinese and Australian businesses suggested a thaw in the tariff dispute was possible.

“I was in the room yesterday watching a couple of other wine producers hugging a distributor they have probably not seen for two or three years,” he said.

“So those relationships are still very strong.”

Chinese tariffs, introduced in 2020 as part of a diplomatic dispute, crippled a range of Australians exports to the mammoth economy, including wine.

Australia exported $1.2bn in wine products to China in 2020, but export values have since collapsed 99 per cent.

Camera IconA delegation led by South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas is travelling in China to showcase SA business. Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Dolan said Chinese distributors wanted to see an end to the tariff regimen.

“There is still a real desire for premium Australian products, for wine, for seafood, for our aquaculture businesses, for our grains, our meats,” Mr Dolan said.

“The Chinese economy, like our own, has probably softened a little bit, but there is still a demand there and the message that I’m certainly getting from our distributors is, ‘we can’t wait for the tariff situation to be resolved and we can get back to doing business again’.”

Mr Dolan expressed confidence that tariffs on wine would come down in the short and medium term but said the exact form of the resolution would flow out of diplomatic discussions.

“Let’s let the diplomats do their work and we all hope it follows a similar process to barley, of course, and it is resolved relatively quickly,” he said.

China scrapped its 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley in August, giving hope to wine producers a similar move is in the offing for wine.

The trade mission, organised by the Department of Trade and Investment and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, kicked off in Beijing on Sunday and runs until Thursday.

The delegation, which boasts leaders from the state’s university, education, wine, agriculture, aquaculture, tourism and trade sectors, was in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, on Tuesday.

In Beijing, Mr Malinauskas met with Chinese government representatives, including Vice Minister for the Ministry of Commerce Guo Tingting, to explore opportunities in trade and investment.

Supplied Editorial Fwd: China pics
Camera IconMr Malinauskas met with Vice Minister of Commerce Guo Ting Ting in China. Supplied Credit: Supplied

On Sunday, Mr Malinauskas and Flinders University vice-chancellor Colin Stirling met with Beijing-based Capital Normal University.

“In every meeting we’ve had, people are well aware the relaxation of punitive tariffs are important to the people of South Australia,” Mr Malinauskas said.

“Travelling with the CEOs of listed companies and industry associations means this is a full-court press to demonstrate how determined we are.

“I was able to express some of the real-life stories of the impact tariffs are having on family businesses.

“We’ve seen a great step in the right direction with the easing of tariffs on barley, which means Chinese beer producers now have access to high-quality South Australian grain.

“We want the same for wine and seafood.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to travel to China later in the year to push for further relaxations in China’s trade sanctions against Australia.

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *