On 4 March, the Australian government signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement after eight years of negotiations. Part of the agreement will see an increase the amount of work and holiday visas for Indonesians from 1000 to 5000, which will increase the number of seasonal workers available next season. The agreement should not otherwise have a major impact on the Australian apple and pear industry, as tariffs are currently zero and have been since 2013.
The agreement builds on the long-standing trading relationship Australia shares with Indonesia, and increases livestock, beef and sheep meat, grains, sugar, dairy and citrus exports. Indonesia is our 4th largest agricultural export market, worth $3.35 billion in 2017, and is on track be the world’s 5th largest economy by 2030. Australian Agriculture, fisheries, and forestry totalled $54 billion in export earnings in 2017-18.
Indonesia is 100% reliant on apple and pear imports and imported 84,000 tonnes in 2016, though Australia contributes just 708 tonnes (0.8%). It imported 103,000 tonnes of pears with Australia contributing 1,000 tonnes (1%).
The agreement does not alter any of Indonesia’s biosecurity requirements; treatment for fruit fly is required. The agreement also did not revoke the suspension of recognition of both the state of Tasmania and the Riverland District of South Australia fruit fly pest free areas (PFA), which was put in place in August 2018.