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China-Aussie FTA creates sparkling business

AUSTRALIAN TRADERS and investors have shown much stronger enthusiasm in the Chinese market during the past year after the signing of the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, a senior official with the Australian Business Chamber said in Shanghai today.

“We have seen a lot more Australian businesses coming to us and seeking help to enter the Chinese market,” said Darren Cocks, chief operating officer of Australian Business Chamber.

More than 70 percent of Australian businesses plan to explore overseas markets in the following two years, and China turns out to be the second most popular target destination, after only the United States, according to a survey released by Export Council of Australia.

China and Australia in June of 2015 officially signed the FTA, which removed duties from over 85 percent of goods and services traded and will cut almost all tariffs within nine years.

It was followed by strong increases of Austrian products to China, consumer goods in particular. According to official data, Australian exports of seafood to China doubled in volume last year, among which the lobster tripled. Fruits like citrus, orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime were also allowed to enter the Chinese market.

To bolster trade, the Australian Business Chamber established its first overseas office in Shanghai last year and launched a program in August of 2015 to support Australian companies to tap the Chinese market.

The program has attracted the more than 120 businesses from Australia, and created sales of 5 million Australian dollars (US$3.67 million).

Today, the chamber signed memorandum of understandings with two trade associations in China, namely, China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce Importing Food Branch, and China Communications & Transportation Association Agricultural Chain Logistics Professional Committee, as well as ten corporate partners to enhance the business tie with China.


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