About The Cairns Group

The Coalition

The Cairns Group is a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries which account for over 25 per cent of the world’s agricultural exports. During the current WTO Doha Round of negotiations the Group has continued to push for the liberalisation of trade in agricultural exports, a cause that unites the Group across language, cultural and geographic boundaries. Made up of developed and developing countries across five continents, the Group is committed to achieving free and fair trade in agriculture that provides real and sustainable benefits for the developing world.

Ministers at the 36th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting, Saskatoon, Canada 7-9 September 2011.
The 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, December 2015.

The Cairns Group is an excellent example of successful coalition building in the trade area.  By acting collectively it has had more influence and impact on the agriculture negotiations than any individual members could have had independently.

Members of the Group are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay and Viet Nam.

Cairns Group Vision Statement

The Cairns Group's ambition and broad objectives for the agriculture negotiations were set out in its “Vision Statement”. The Vision Statement outlines the Cairns Group's objectives in each of the three key reform areas within the framework for agricultural trade.  These include deep cuts to all tariffs (including tariff peaks) and removal of tariff escalation, the elimination of all trade-distorting domestic subsidies; the elimination of export subsidies and clear rules to prevent circumvention of export subsidy commitments.

The Vision Statement reaffirmed the Group's support for the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries (including least developed countries and small states remaining an integral part of the next WTO agriculture negotiations). Cairns Group ministers believe that the framework for liberalisation must continue to support the economic development needs, including technical assistance requirements, of developing and small members.


Country Government agency
Argentina Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Culture
(Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto)
Australia DFAT - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Brazil Brazilian Ministry of External Relations
(Ministério das Relações Exteriores)
Canada DFAIT - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Chile DIRECON - General Directorate of International Economic Relations
(Dirección General de Relaciones Económicas Internacionales)
Colombia Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Republic of Colombia
(Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, República de Colombia)
Costa Rica COMEX - Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica
(Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica)
Guatemala Ministry of Economy of Guatemala
(Ministerio de Economia de Guatemala)
Indonesia Ministry of Trade - Republic of Indonesia
Malaysia Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry
New Zealand MFAT - New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Pakistan Government of Pakistan - Ministry of Commerce
Paraguay Industry and Trade - Ministry of Development
(Industria y Comercio - Ministerio del Desarrollo)
Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (
Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo)
Philippines Phillipine Business Registry
South Africa Republic of South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry
Thailand Thailand Ministry of Commerce
Uruguay Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores)
Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam and Ministry of Trade and Industry
Last Updated: 4 November 2016