Cairns Group Farm Leaders due tomorrow for historic meeting for liberalisation of world agricultural trade
27 March 1998
Farm leaders representing over 500 million people will begin arriving in Australia tomorrow, to take part in an historic visit aimed at liberalising world trade in agriculture.
Farm leaders from the Cairns group - Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji, South Africa, the Philippines, New Zealand and Canada - will join senior NFF leaders for a week of events, culminating in a parallel meeting with the Cairns Group Trade and Agriculture Ministers in Sydney.
They will also be joined by the President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Dean Kleckner.
As chair of the Cairns Group, Australia is facilitating the meeting in order to form a unified position to put to the next World Trade Organisation talks in Geneva in 1999.
Cairns Group countries see the talks as crucial in the campaign to eliminate heavy distortions in world agricultural trade, caused in part by subsidies amounting to around US $280 billion a year.
The farm leaders, along with the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, will leave Sydney on Sunday, March the 29th, for a two day tour of sugar, beef, dairy, wool, cotton and dryland cropping enterprises in New South Wales.
The farm leaders will return to Sydney for discussions, and a joint press conference led by NFF President, Donald McGauchie, at 12.15 in the Hotel Inter-Continental on Tuesday, March the 31st.
On Thursday and Friday April the 2nd and 3rd, the farm leaders will take part in a high level seminar looking at the issues involved in the move towards greater trade liberalisation.
The Cairns Group of countries represents the "third force" in world trade negotiations, along with the U.S. and the European Union, and the timing of the Sydney meeting is crucial in the lead up to the WTO talks in 1999.
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29/3/1998 Cairns Group Farm Leaders visit dairy, cane and beef enterprises for liberalisation of world agricultural trade
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17/2/1998 International farm leaders to meet in Australia