CANBERRA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The signing of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has paved the way for the value of the Australia's wine exports to stand at 2.7 billion U.S. dollars annually by 2020, the government has announced.
The 40 million U.S. dollar Export and Regional Wine Support Package, announced by Australia's agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce and assistant agriculture minister Anne Rushton on Monday, will focus on the Chinese and U.S. markets with money to be made available for marketing in the two countries.
The government has identified China as a particularly compelling opportunity for growth, forecasting a 15 to 17 percent rise in the value of wine exports to China by 2020.
Rushton said the projected boom would not have been possible without the ChAFTA.
"The package is part of a suite of measures to reform the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate scheme, following extensive consultation with the wine industry," Rushton told reporters on Monday.
"Our wine industry was already in a strong position, with tariff reductions from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement leading to China's overtaking of the United States as the most valuable destination for Australian wine."
"This investment is ensuring we will capitalize on this and drive further growth.
"I'm looking forward to the industry taking ownership of it and making it work not only for their benefit and our economy, but also for the regional communities in which many of them operate."
It is expected that the package, which will be managed by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), will inject 134 million U.S. dollars into the Australian economy by 2020.
Joyce said that on current pace more than 800 million liters of Australian wine would be exported in the current financial year.
"This package aims to build on this, delivering up to 8 percent per annum value growth across all export markets to 2021-22, including 15 to 17 percent in China and 6 percent in the United States," Joyce said.
"At home, the package will help to attract up to 40,000 more international tourists to visit our world-renowned wine regions, and take the great Australian wine tour."