Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held talks in Canberra, capital of Australia, on November 17. Both sides affirmed the practical conclusion of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. After the meeting, witnessed by the two leaders, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and Australian Minister of Trade and Investment Andrew Robb signed a declaration of intent on practically concluding the FTA negotiations on behalf of their governments.

The negotiations on the China-Australia FTA started in April 2005. The China-Australia FTA is another comprehensive, high-level free trade deal China has finalized with a major economy in the Asia-Pacific region. Beijing and Seoul announced the conclusion of their substantive FTA talks not long before. According to the results of the negotiations, in terms of opening up, Australia will reduce the tariffs on all Chinese products to zero eventually and China will reduce the tariffs on most of Australian products to zero. With regard to the service field, both sides made a high-quality opening up promise to each other covering many sectors. In the investment field, both sides agreed to grant each other the most favored nation status once the FTA takes effect. They also agreed to greatly lower the review thresholds for corporate investment, and increase market access opportunities, predictability and transparency for such investment. The agreement will cover more than 10 areas, including trade in goods and services, investment and trade rules, as well as such subjects as e-commerce and government procurement. The China-Australia FTA negotiations have realized the goal of comprehensiveness, high quality and balance of interests. The signing of the agreement will allow the two countries to fully utilize their respective economic advantages, boost win-win cooperation, bring mutual benefits and promote the in-depth development of bilateral economic and trade ties.


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