Market Access Round Table Meeting, Canberra
Jayne Gallagher, Dean Lisson and Gary Morgan (Chair of SRL Ltd) attended the Market Access Round Table meeting held in Canberra on Friday 26th July. There were around 150 people at the meeting, including members of the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and Austrade.
The focus of the meeting was very much on how to make the market access system work better at a general level and some major issues were discussed:
- There was a consensus that DAFF needed to be closer to industry. The partnership between Government and industry in trade negotiations needs to be stronger and a an acknowledgement that having this relationship is not a conflict of interest.
- Priorities need to be aligned; industry needs to communicate what it needs to achieve so that the Australian government priorities can reflect that. Measures of success need to be agreed.
- A focus should be put into building relationships and developing networks with Government and Industry in the market/s, currently a lot of time is spent on the technical scientific aspects of trade barriers.
It was excellent to see Austrade using the work we are doing with the China Trade and Industry Reference Group as an example of how industry can work with government productively on market access issues. This recognition of the seafood trade agenda by DAFF and by Ministerial advisors has helped open the door to engagement and important connections were made with key people irrespective of what may happen in the federal election.
The clear agenda and pathway for communication we have developed has given us traction in Canberra but we must now deliver on that. We must be persistent with our communication and we need to invest in establishing an ongoing presence.