A new interim free trade agreement between Australia and India designed to reduce Australia’s economic dependence on China has opened significant opportunities for some industries but shut out the dairy and grain industries. The Australian dairy sector has been completely excluded from the deal with United Dairy Farmers of Victoria’s president Paul Mumford expressing disappointment on behalf of the sector. According to Mumford, the Indian government considers the Australian industry “a threat to the social fabric of their own industry,” as India’s dairy industry has the largest dairy industry in the world, consisting of farmers with two or four cows. Mumford said there’s a lot of opportunity and more work to be done before the FTA is finalised.
Australian wine exporters and sheep farmers are so far applauding the interim agreement with staged tariff reductions for wine and tariffs on wool exports reduced to zero later this year.