WoolProducers have recently spent time relationship building with India, in a move to foster relationships between the two countries.
WoolProducers CEO, Ms Jo Hall, travelled to India in late October to engage with key government and industry stakeholders and explore trade expansion and risk mitigation opportunities for the Australian wool industry.
Ms Hall said, “The visit proved integral in further strengthening our ties with India”.
“A Roundtable held in Delhi on October 25th, 2023, aimed to strengthen collaboration and explore opportunities for cooperation in the wool sector, marking the second in-country meeting in just seven months”.
In return, a large Indian delegation, comprising senior industry and government representatives, attended the Global Sourcing Expo in Melbourne. Coinciding with this, another Australian-Indian Wool Roundtable took place in late November, to further deepen bilateral ties.
Two days before the Roundtable in Melbourne, WoolProducers President, Steve Harrison, hosted Mr. Romesh Khajuria, Chairman of the Indian Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council and Dr Arvind Kumar, an Indian Government delegate on a day trip to AWTA, the Melbourne Wool Selling Centre to meet with some industry colleagues and to “Redesdale”, Bendigo to observe shearing and wool classing.
Mr Harrison said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to host some of our Indian colleagues and show them Australia’s world leading practices in terms of wool testing, standards, shearing and classing.”
“Our Indian guests, Mr Romesh Khajuria, Chairman of Indian Wool & Woollens Export Promotion Council and Dr Arvind Kumar, from the Indian government, were delighted to experience all of the goings on during shearing at ‘Redesdale’, Bendigo.”
India, as the world's second-largest consumer of wool, is witnessing a surge in demand for both raw wool and woollen products. With an annual production of approximately 40 million kgs of wool and imports totalling 30 million kgs, India's woollen industry is poised for growth in the coming years.
The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which removed tariffs for Australia's raw wool, has already shown positive results. Wool exports from Australia to India increased from 11 million kgs (US$110 million) in 2021-22 to 14 million kgs (US$135 million) in 2022-23, despite the ECTA being in place for only six months of the last financial year.
Ms Hall said, “The potential demand for wool in India presents a significant opportunity for the Australian wool industry to expand its market share. With the support of the ECTA, the Australian wool industry could establish itself as a reliable supplier and contribute to the growth of India's woollen sector.”
“Furthermore, India has extended an invitation to Australia to attend Bharat Tex 2024 in February 2024, providing an opportunity for further cooperation discussions and exploring business opportunities between the two countries. India has also expressed interest in a reciprocal visit to Australia in mid-2024, offering an avenue to advance discussions on agreed cooperation interests and facilitate farm visits.”
This collaboration between Australia and India marks an exciting time for both countries to seize the potential offered by this market and foster mutually beneficial trade relationships.
Photos available on request
WoolProducers Australia contacts:
Jo Hall, CEO
0488 554 811
Steve Harrison, President
0427 468 303
About WoolProducers’ Australia
WoolProducers plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service.
Its mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.
The agency is responsible for appointing a director to each of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australia Wool
Testing Authority, promoting good corporate governance and ensuring that the interests of growers are met.
WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.
WoolProducers is the sole wool industry member of Animal Health Australia, and as such, carries a significant responsibility for decision making on behalf of the industry in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak.
As the only wool grower organisation with membership of the National Farmers’ Federation, WoolProducers is responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of our members, and other wool growers, to Australia’s peak farm body.
WoolProducers also works closely with the Federal Government Departments on key issues such as animal health and welfare, biosecurity, pest management control, natural resource management, drought preparedness, emergency animal disease outbreak preparedness and industry development, including research, trade and logistics.