The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has more than thirty agricultural specialists working in Australian missions in key overseas markets. They work to develop and maintain markets for our agricultural exports, which account for approximately two thirds of Australian farm production. In January 2016, as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government announced the establishment of five new agricultural counsellors, located in the growing markets of Vietnam, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, and the more established markets of China and Thailand. Our overseas network now spans across 16 countries including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States of America. The negotiations for access to overseas markets, including technical consultations about the importing nation’s biosecurity requirements, can sometimes take years to work through. The department's overseas officers play a key role in this process. The department's agricultural specialists organise and lead discussions, respo​nd to requests for information, and facilitate visits and inspections to progress market access requests. They work closely with industry, overseas authorities, and the department's Canberra head office in the process. Overseas agricultural specialists also play a significant role in rectifying any problems with Australian agricultural goods on entry to their foreign destinations.
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