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New agreement with China to drive economic co-operation

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THE HON STEVEN CIOBO MP Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment



24 March 2017

Today, I signed an important agreement with China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan that will underpin greater trade and investment between our two countries.

The agreement signals our intention to commence reviews of the services and investment elements of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), and to review our Investment Facilitation Arrangement Memorandum of Understanding, by the end of the year.

ChAFTA already supports increased services trade and investment flows by providing improved access and increased regulatory certainty for Australian business. Following these reviews, we will work with China to further reduce barriers to trade in services, agree on additional protections for investors and open up new commercial opportunities.

Both parties agreed to bring the investment review forward by one year, reflecting the priority we attach to enhancing two-way investment.

This new agreement builds upon the success of ChAFTA. After only one year, the benefits are clear - in 2016, wine sales were up 38 per cent to $470 million, skin care products by 82 per cent, and the value of fresh lobster exports quadrupled.

ChAFTA has given Australian businesses a competitive advantage that is driving Australian exports and creating new jobs.

ChAFTA is the most favourable trade deal China has ever done with a developed economy. It has put Australian exporters in pole position to capitalise on China’s growing middle class and their increasing demand for the high quality goods and services Australia offers.

Business is booming for those who have taken advantage of the preferential access the agreement offers. The results we are seeing are fantastic and they are only going to get better as tariffs continue to fall before being eliminated altogether.

The Turnbull Government will continue to pursue an ambitious free trade agenda and agreements like ChAFTA to fuel our economy and create more jobs.

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