Monday, September 25, 2017

Australia eyes food exports

Australian firms are lining up to look at food exports to Myanmar, though officials say they would first like to see an improved regulatory climate in the country.

Australian investment in Myanmar’s food trade industry could begin as soon as the next financial year.

“We have a desire to begin trade engagement on both the government to government and business to business level,” said Ron Harris, an official from Australia’s Victoria State Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Australia already exports food products such as dairy, wheat and beef to several ASEAN nations, according to its South East Asia Market Engagement Plan. Officials told The Myanmar Times that a number of Australian firms are closely eyeing the Myanmar market as a future area of expansion.

Australian Senator Brett Mason, parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Australia is still mulling how to conduct future trade engagement with Myanmar, particularly as the market is a new one and the sustainability of development and stability are still concerns.

Myanmar should also work to improve intellectual property laws, consumer rights and competition, said Rod Sims, chair of the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).