Thursday, June 18, 2015
Australia and China will sign a free trade agreement in Canberra today after more than a decade of negotiations.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb will join Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng to officially sign the deal, which will begin removing tariff barriers facing Australian companies.

"I think it's a momentous thing that's happened," Peter Arkell, chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, told the ABC.

"This has been pretty landmark stuff that's been negotiated.

"I hope there's going to be a lot of Australian business now that maybe had been reluctant about entering into China, worried about some of the so-called barriers, that they can now feel confident this is a place that they can do business."

Australian businesses currently face tariffs of up to 40 per cent on goods exported to China.

The FTA will help bolster Australian agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism among other industries, the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) said.

The ACBC said the agreement came at an opportune time as China's economy shifted to consumption-driven growth.

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
VIDEO: Australia and China set to sign free trade deal (The World)
"China's economic rebalancing is generating greater demand for consumer goods, premium products and professional services," ACBC president and former Victorian premier John Brumby said.

"Australian goods and services are recognised as being of a high quality, and ChAFTA (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement) will help reduce the barriers for Australian companies as they seek to enter an increasingly competitive market."

Mr Brumby said the agreement would give Australian businesses an advantage over key competitors the US, European Union and Canada.

The benefit to Australian households of trade with China had increased fivefold from $3,400 in 2009 to nearly $17,000 in 2013, the ACBC said.

Australia has recently completed FTAs with Japan and South Korea.
All News | Back to Top

Get social with us and see the latest news items from: