Australian dairy exporters have asked the government to push for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India in a bid to improve the access to the country’s huge market.
Australian agriculture service provider Cargill said that while current demand was growing at seven percent a year, production was rising by just four percent and India was set to become a net importer by 2020, according to AAP news report.
The local dairy exporters were now seeking the FTA with India in the face of stiff tariff barriers of between 30 and 60 percent on dairy products.
Dairy Australia’s International Trade Development manager Peter Myers said "access to India’s market remained a challenge for Australian exporters."
"Australia became a complementary supplier into India, not competing with the traditional market," he said adding Australia diary exporters were presently targeting India’s growing middle class set to reach 200 million by 2020, from about 70 million.
He further said that as India becomes more sophisticated, its rising middle class as well as women entering or returning to the labour force can act as a spur to growth for milk products.