GOT MILK: Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker, Norco CEO Brett Kelly and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce down glasses of locally produced milk in Raleigh.
GOT MILK: Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker, Norco CEO Brett Kelly and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce down glasses of locally produced milk in Raleigh. David Barwell

Online tool to foster farm free trade links

A NEW Federal Government portal has been established to enable farmers access to Free Trade Agreement information.

Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the online portal was designed for farmers to take advantage of ratified trade agreements, including the China FTA that was finalised late last year.

"We have many North Coast businesses exporting their goods and services and many more that are looking to break into the export market," he said.

"This new portal is the one-stop-shop for all the information they need on Australia's free trade agreements with the three north Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and South Korea."

The Chinese trade agreement was welcomed by Australia's dairy and livestock industries last year, despite concerns over finer details of the agreement from other sectors including manufacturing.

Concerns include tariffs for some products have fallen to zero under the CHaFTA, while Chinese tariffs on the same products remain the same.

But Mr Hartsuyker said the agreements opened up opportunities for small and medium businesses.

"Taking advantage of the significant competitive benefits offered by the FTAs will drive jobs and economic growth on the North Coast. More local businesses exporting means more potential jobs growth," Mr Hartsuyker said.

The portal has Australian and international trade data and a step-by-step system to help businesses assess whether their product is likely to meet the requirements of the agreements.

The new FTA portal also aims to harness the innovation of the private sector, by making the information freely available to app developers.

The FTA portal is available at www. ftaportal.dfat.gov.au.



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