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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kons' Taiwan Delegation Bears Fruit - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Kons' Taiwan Delegation Bears Fruit - Steven Kons, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Primary Industries Minister Steve Kons has welcomed what he’s called a major breakthrough in negotiations over access of Tasmanian fruit into Taiwan.

“Taiwan has advised that the restriction on Tasmanian produce will be lifted as from early February.

“A firm date is yet to be set because of Taiwanese legislative requirements and we respect the need for the government there to undertake the necessary procedures.

“However, this is fantastic news for Tasmanian stonefruit and apple growers along with local fruit exporters.

“In fact it might even be possible for Tasmanian fruit to be back on the shop shelves for Chinese New Year.”

Mr Kons said the breakthrough, which recognises Tasmania’s freedom from fruit fly infestation vindicated his decision to lead a delegation to Taiwan in early December to discuss the proposed restriction on fruit imports from 1 January 2006.

“The delegation met senior management from quarantine authorities, the Deputy Minister and Taiwanese importers.

“The delegation highlighted during its discussions with Taiwanese officials and industry that the market was of great importance for Tasmanian producers and exporters.

“We also outlined that Tasmania had been a long-term supplier of fresh produce into the Taiwan market with more than 25 years standing.

“Despite our submissions the restriction was implemented on 1 January 2006.

“However, with the lifting of the restriction, stonefruit exports should be able to resume almost immediately.

“The ban remains in place for mainland Australia, excluding the Riverland area of South Australia, which had previously been exempted.”

Mr Kons thanked staff from the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, along with Federal officials for their efforts in helping Tasmanian fruit growers to regain access to Taiwanese markets.

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