Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Finance News
Farmers urge caution in China FTA talks
Monday April 3, 2006
Farmers are warning the Federal Government to take its time negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, after a push by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to accelerate talks.
China’s demand for Australian farm produce has tripled in the past decade and is now worth more than $3 billion to local farmers.
Premier Wen is in Canberra to push the FTA negotiations forward.
But Ian James from Vegetable Grower group Ausveg is warning slow and steady could be better approach.
"Our concerns would be that in the past, basically, Australian agriculture probably hasn’t done as well as what most people would have expected," he said.
National Farmers’ Federation president Peter Corish says farmers want a deal soon, but not at the expense of a complete agreement that includes farm goods.
"That of course is a good thing for Australian agriculture as long as we get a comprehensive deal that includes agriculture at the end of the day," he said.