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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00

China-Australia trade deal set to supercharge Victorian wine industry

Wine Victoria welcomed news of a breakthrough free trade agreement between Australia and China.

Wine Victoria Chair, Damien Sheehan, said removing the import tariff will open up more opportunities for Victorian wine exporters tapping into the burgeoning Chinese market.

"A free trade agreement like this is encouraging news for Victorian and Australian wine producers, who have been facing ongoing oversupply issues for several years now," said Mr Sheehan.

"We also face stiff competition with international wine suppliers, so increased access to one of our crucial markets really adjusts the playing field for Victorian winemakers, who are known for producing premium wines."

It is expected that the current import tariff of 14% for bottled wine and 20% for bulk wine will be phased down to zero over four years. Currently, around 60 percent of wine produced in Victoria is exported to key international markets.

The latest agreement follows two earlier trade deals with Japan and Korea, resulting in a 'trade trifecta' to wrap up a successful year.

"Throughout 2014, we have been making the case for increased support to build the recognition of Victoria's premium wine offering in China, the time is now right to ensure this market is well aware of our offering."