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Philippines asks Australia to open its banana market

Staff Writer |
For more than 20 years the Australian market has been closed to Philippine bananas and both countries have filed their dispute with the WTO (World Trade Organization).

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The issue of banana exports resurfaced during the official visit of the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister to Manila.

The ban on bananas in the Philippines dates back to 1995. Because of very strict phytosanitary requirements issued by Biosecurity Australia, the quarantine inspection and assessment authority of the Australian Ministry of Agriculture.

The Australian Minister reiterated the need for the Philippines to comply with Australia's risk management measures. The Philippine minister stressed the excess of Australian requirements and said that these bananas are accepted by many other countries, such as Japan, China and the Middle East.

The opening of the Australian market would help the Philippines to restore its trade balance. In 2016 the Philippines imported from Australia for USD 892 million, while Australia imported from the Philippines for USD 386 million.