Australian seafood exporters still face a number of formal technical (e.g. SO2 in canned Abalone) and informal systemic barriers (e.g. deemed value) to trade which add cost and complexities which in the longer term could result in the opportunities created in the recent conclusion of a suite of FTAs with Asian markets not being fully realised.
The 2014 Seafood Exporters Forum (45 exporters participated) agreed to continue the STAG to continue to focus on key priorities for the most important markets (China, Hong Kong and Japan). Other sectors were invited to join the STAG provided they support the STAG activities with resources and communicate according to the agreed key messages (outlined in the STAG Trade Agenda).
Research on macro economic trends in important markets and potential FTA implementation issues that may impede capitalisation on the opportunities provided by those FTAs and are reflected in the agreed Seafood Trade Agenda priorities for 2016-2018 (attached). Having a unified voice on these priorities and addressing issues as they arise is the cornerstone of the success of the STAG to date.
The STAG needs to coordinate communication and extension of research as well as continue to prioritise research priorities to keep access to global markets. As a relatively new group the STAG needs to formalise partnership arrangements that includes more industry sectors, implement a governance structure and establish a more stable funding base, including the establishment of a secretariat with capacity to respond to issues and responsibility for implementing and reporting on the Trade Agenda.
This project will provide the co-contribution agreed for the PASE funded Seafood Asian Seafood Market Access Project. The funds from this project will be used to ensure that the outcomes of the PASE project are communicated and extended effectively to industry and that industry issues are communicated back to the project team. It will establish a new governance and reporting arrangement for the STAG and negotiate with the newly forming national peak body for it to assume the ongoing secretariat role for the STAG.
1.Consultation with seafood exporters and industry associations to determine and agree on trade and market access priorities for inclusion in the Seafood Trade and Market Access Agenda andAction Plan 2016-2018 (see Appendix 2).
2.Maintaining government relationships and providing seafood input to the priority trade and market access negotiations
3.Communicating with stakeholders (industry, government and communities) about progress addressing the seafood industry trade and market access priorities.
4.Researching and monitoring market and consumer trends in key markets providing a market intelligence service to seafood exporters
5.Developing and maintaining relationships with key organisations (industry, research and government) in key markets to facilitate resolution of trade and market access issues and tomaintain existing market access.