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Government to fund South Korea trade mission

NEW BLOOD: LNP candidate Keith Pitt has won pre-selection for the seat of Hinkler.
NEW BLOOD: LNP candidate Keith Pitt has won pre-selection for the seat of Hinkler. Max Fleet

THE Federal Government will fund a trade mission to South Korea to push the Bundaberg region's fruit and vegetables into a major new market.

The way in has been opened up by the government's recently signed Free Trade Agreement with South Korea.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd announced that Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG) had been awarded an $80,000 grant for the trade mission.

The grant is part of the government's Asian Business Engagement plan.

BFVG Executive Officer Peter Hockings said the trade mission would be a great step forward in promoting the region's produce in South Korea.

He said the grant would support a market familiarisation and trade relations program for some of the Wide Bay Burnett's horticulture businesses.

BFVG would now seek expressions of interest from business owners to join the delegation.

He expected the delegation would consist of six to 12 people.

"Australia produces far more than it consumes, so we need to open up export markets," he said.

"There is a great potential for better profit margins."

BFVG chairman Geoff Chivers said the region could double production but had to find markets to sell it to.

He said the Asian markets increasingly wanted clean and green food.

"The trade delegation will find what they want from us," he said.

"We are very confident the whole industry will keep growing into the future."

Mr Pitt said BFVG's success in winning the grant showed it was effective advocate for local producers and value adders.

Mr O'Dowd said helping businesses expand into new markets would give the horticulture sector much needed shot in the arm.

"Export trade is not only good for the businesses concerned, it's also good for jobs and good for the local and national economies," he said.

Topics:  keith pitt, south korea, trade




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