On June 17, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng met with Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb at the Parliament House of Canberra, Australia, exchanging views on the signing of the FTA and further deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Gao said that China and Australia’s official signing of the FTA is of great historical significances and should be attributed to the great concerns and direct promoting of the leaders of the two countries. During the several meetings with the Premier Abott, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang always took China-Australia FTA as the most important issue, providing great power to the final signing of the agreement. As the largest developing country and the most influential developed country, the signing of China-Australia FTA which is comprehensive, of high-quality and interests balanced would exert active effects to the politics, economics and society of the two countries, would provide more vast cooperation platform for the business circle of the two countries and would have an important effect on the process of the integration of the regional economy and the Asian-Pacific economy.

Gao pointed out that the current China-Australia economic and trade cooperation is undergoing deep and continuous development. In 2014, China-Australia trade volume accounted for 27% of the total foreign trade of Australia. Australia has become China’s largest destination country of overseas investment, with the investment stock in Australia reaching US$ 75 billion, accounting for over 10% of the total foreign investment. The two countries should understand and keep the correct direction of the bilateral economic and trade relation from a strategic and long-term perspective, and should broaden their practical cooperation. China is willing to carry out the strategic matchmaking, and to realize the mutual benefit and win-win result together with Australia, on the basis of reciprocity and complementarity, while taking the signing of China-Australia FTA as the opportunity, and combining China’s construction of “One Belt and One Road” with Australia’s “North Development” and “National Infrastructure Construction Plan”, to At the same time, China and Australia should make joint efforts to promote the Doha Round negotiation to reach the Package Agreement with generalized preference and non-discrimination, and to bolster the construction of RCEP and ACFTA to gain active progress.

Robb said that it was because of the foresight and promotion of both President Xi Jinping and Premier Abott that China-Australia FTA was signed officially. Australia would make efforts to fulfill its interior procedures to make the agreement come into effect as soon as possible. Australia welcomes investment from China and is willing to provide more conveniences to Chinese investors while taking the signing of Australia-China FTA as the opportunity. He hoped that China would continue to promote the enterprises to invest in Australia, and broaden the investment sector. Meanwhile, Australia will encourage its enterprises to invest to China, especially those enterprises with experience and advantages in the service industry. Australia is willing to carry out the strategic matchmaking between Australia’s “North Development” and “National Infrastructure Construction Plan” and China’s construction of “One Belt and One Road”, and Australia is also willing to strengthen its cooperation with China under the framework of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China’s Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu and Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen attended the meeting.


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