Free trade deals drive Asia’s produce trade

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Free trade agreements are changing the landscape of Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable business. Find out how at Asia’s leading fresh produce show.

– Sessions at Asiafruit Congress and ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA Business Forum to focus on impact of free trade agreements on Asia’s fresh produce trade.

Hong Kong, 10 March 2016 – Asia’s two-way trade of fresh fruit has soared by some 80 per cent over the past decade and is now worth almost US$20bn, according to data from the International Trade Centre.

A raft of tariff-cutting free trade agreements – together with market access breakthroughs – has played a vital role in driving that growth.

Today, more than 80 trade agreements are in force in the Asian region. Some have eliminated tariffs as high as 300 per cent and generated substantial trade. Others – featuring quota restrictions, tariff reduction exclusions or safeguards on certain products – have hindered trade.

China is a standout example of the growth trend. Since joining the World Trade Organisation in 2002, the world’s most populous nation has signed 13 bilateral and regional free trade agreements, with a further eight still under negotiation. During this period, China’s two-way trade of fresh fruit and vegetables has expanded exponentially. The value of fruit and vegetable exports has grown from US$900m in 2002 to reach US$8.6bn in 2015, while the value of fresh produce imports has increased from US$200m to US$5bn during the same period.

China has signed free trade agreements with leading fresh fruit exporting countries, including Chile, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asian nations (ASEAN). These deals have eliminated tariffs of 10-15 per cent on average and helped to open up two-way trade. But China is by no means the only Asian nation to see its fresh produce business grow on the back of free trade deals.

South Korea’s fresh produce imports have more than doubled in value over the past decade, rising from US$533m in 2006 to US$1.3bn in 2015. Free trade agreements have helped to fuel this expansion, with Latin American fruit export giant Chile one of the early movers to achieve rapid growth in shipments to Korea.

Thailand, which signed a landmark free trade agreement with China in 2003, and has concluded deals with several other countries, has seen the value of its fresh produce exports virtually treble from US$332m to US$1.05bn over the same period.


Measuring the impact

So how are free trade agreements going to change the competitive landscape in Asia’s fresh produce business moving forward? How important is the timing of such agreements – the first-mover advantage – to success? And what can fresh produce industries do to leverage such deals and get the best outcomes?

Find out answers to these questions and gain a unique insight to the impact of free trade agreements on Asia’s fresh produce business at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA and Asiafruit Congress, which take place together at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo Center on 6-9 September.

Asiafruit Congress – Asia’s premier fresh fruit and vegetable conference event – takes place on 6 September, the day before ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA (7-9 September). The final session of this year’s full-day conference – ‘Future supplies for Asia’ – looks at where production and supplies will come from to meet Asia’s soaring fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in future. The session features expert analysis of the market landscape and outlook for imported fruits in Asia, examining the influence of key factors such as free trade agreements, regional production capabilities, market access, logistics and climate change.

Meanwhile, the impact of free trade agreements on the global fresh produce business receives a practical examination at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA’s Business Forum, a series of information sessions hosted by Asiafruit Magazine on the show-floor at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA. Taking place on the Business Forum’s Trade Day (9 September), the session ‘How to get the best out of free trade agreements’ takes a look at the major global and regional trade agreements over the past decade, and hears first-hand insights from representatives of key exporting countries on how they have maximised results from such deals.


For more information on ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA, please contact:
Sinenart Baramirattanachai by email: Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo., telephone: +66 2 941 4600 or visit

For more information on Asiafruit Congress, please contact:
Marija Cvetkovic by email: Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo., telephone: +44 20 7501 3707 or visit



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