Australia’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo recently concluded trade talks in China.
Steve Ciobo met with the Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, Zhong Shan and one of the topics that was discussed was the popular ChAFTA (China Australia Free Trade Agreement) that entered into force in 2015.
Both Ministers noted that since ChAFTA was signed and entered into force in 2015 there have been three rounds of tariff cuts. Both sides agreed implementation of ChAFTA has been successful, with high rates of utilisation by exporters of over 85 per cent on both sides. Investment in both directions has continued to flourish.
Ministers acknowledged the strong economic complementarities between China and Australia, and noted the role ChAFTA is playing in deepening and diversifying the trade and investment relationship. Both sides shared the view that not only had ChAFTA ushered in a new era in the bilateral trade and investment relationship, but that it continued to demonstrate, for the region and beyond, the opportunities and benefits of trade liberalisation.
Ministers discussed two-way investment as well as regional and global trade and economic issues. They discussed how Australia and China can work together in bilateral, regional and multilateral contexts to harness the full benefits of open markets and defend the multilateral, rules-based trading system that has benefitted both countries.
Both sides provided an update on the latest developments in their respective trade and investment policies. Ministers agreed to work actively to adopt measures to boost bilateral trade and investment and enhance commercial cooperation in third markets, including in relation to China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. Australia will participate in the inaugural China International Import Expo.
China and Australia mark their 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2017.