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Australia and China Agree on Free Trade Agreement

China is already the largest market for exports from Australia in 2013, it bought almost a third of Australian assets, up to $ 101 billion (70.4 billion euros). This will be especially true after the free trade agreement on which Canberra and Beijing agreed Monday, November 17th, after nine years of negotiations, and to be signed in 2015.

Australian companies have unprecedented access to the second global economy,” praised the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. The agreement “will bring billions to the economy and will create jobs,” he added.

Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping, who was visiting Australia at this time, especially for the G20, praised the relations between the two countries, in a speech to the parliament in Canberra.

All details of the agreement have not yet been made public, but according to the Australian government, more than 90% of Australian exports will no longer be taxed at their entry into China within four years.

Agriculture is presented as the winning part. Australia wants to export more of its agricultural products and China wants to secure supplies to fulfill its growing needs. This is the case for milk, on which tariffs will be abolished. The industrialists are eagerly awaiting a bilateral agreement, in order to further penetrate the Chinese market, the world’s largest importer of milk, which mainly buys from New Zealand.

Customs fees on exports of cattle on foot no longer exist in four years. Taxes also disappear for fruits, vegetables, wine etc…

Chinese investment restrictions softened

Australia will also have easy access to the services market in China. Xi Jinping put forward, in his speech to the Parliament, the quality of the Australian Universities. Education, health, insurance should see their access to China more easily granted.

Restrictions on Chinese investment in Australia, which have long blocked the free trade agreement will be at ease. China will be able to more easily invest in the industry of iron and coal, which abounds in Australia. Raw materials should also enjoy better conditions of export.

This agreement is timely for Australia, which this year has already negotiated agreements FTA with Japan and South Korea. The country is in its 24th consecutive year of growth but suffers an economic downturn and seeks to reduce its dependence on mining. The government wants to develop other sources of growth, including agriculture and services.

After Canberra, the Chinese president visited Tuesday in Tasmania, an island in southern Australia. Appointments have already been made to start investing in agriculture.

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DATE November 24, 2014
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