ANDREW Forrest's vision to build on the Australian-Chinese relationship took another step this morning.
Mr Forrest gathered agricultural ministers, major food producers and distributors from Australia and China for the first meeting of the Australia Sino 100 Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership.
The first "ASHAP" meeting, as Mr Forrest refers to it, was held in Sydney and aimed to bring together the Australian side of a partnership arrangements with China, and elevate Australia as a major food provider to China.
The meeting discussed the potential to grow the Australian farming industry and contribute to the growth of the Australian economy.
Participants agreed to inviting the Chinese Australia Sino Hundred Year Agricultural and Food Safety Partnership (ASA 100) Preparation Group to meet in Brisbane for an inaugural session before the G20 and draw together a number of requests from China that will permanently bolster Australian agriculture for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The meeting also agreed that any FTA with China had to be strong and that given the urgency, ASA 100 would support FTA negotiations.
The Australian agricultural industry will market itself to China as one common and united brand, under one single logo.
"Heightened, long-term, predictable demand will encourage Australian farmers and associated industries to return to the passion and on-farm investment which, in years past, typified their industries," Mr Forrest said.
"Only this, when combined with strong collaboration and cohesive leadership, will ensure Australia takes her rightful place as the major global player in Chinese food and natural product supply."
Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who attended the meeting, said Australia and China have a symbiotic relationship where both countries can be great benefactors from ASA 100.
The initiative is a step forward in ensuring China has unsurpassed access to the highest quality agricultural produce available from Australia and was developed out of past meetings between the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang and Mr Forrest.
The structure will comprise of 50 members from each country, who will meet biannually initially, and then annually.
Mr Forrest most recently expanded his stake in Australian agriculture when his Minderoo Group purchased WA’s biggest beef abattoir Harvey Beef in May.