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November 7, 2015

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China-Aussie FTA sparks diversity

AUSTRALIA’S trade and investment with China have become more diversified since the two countries signed the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in June, the head of the Australian Business Chamber said yesterday in Shanghai.

“The China-Australia FTA will be the dominant pact to facilitate Australia’s trade in the years to come,” said Stephen Cartwright, chief executive of the chamber. “In terms of trade with China, this agreement is much more important than the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

In October, the United States-led TPP free trade pact was concluded, with Australia as one of the 12 members.

Cartwright said Australia understands how important China is for its trade and the FTA with China will be decisive for the country’s future of trade.

China has been Australia’s largest trading partner for both goods and services since 2007, accounting for nearly a third of Australia’s total exports.

China and Australia in June 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.

In tandem, the chamber established its first overseas office in Shanghai and launched a program in August to support Australian companies to tap the Chinese market.

“Our office in Shanghai has assisted some new trade and investment deals between the two countries in the past few months,” Cartwright said.

Yesterday, HGT Australia, a specialist in aged care training, inked an agreement with Shanghai Pharmaceutical School to collaborate in education. Michiko, an Australian dairy product producer, also teamed up with a domestic retailer to expand its distribution network in China.


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