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Vaile welcomes Holden exports to China.

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Media release

Friday, 17 December 2004 - MVT99/2004

Vaile Welcomes Holden Exports to China

Trade Minister Mark Vaile welcomed the announcement by Holden today to export the Buick Royaum, based on the Statesman and Caprice luxury cars, to China.

“This is a significant step by Holden and a further example of the rapidly expanding trade relationship between Australia and China, and acknowledgement by the Chinese of Australia’s important role as a competitive, long term and reliable partner” Mr Vaile said

Companies like Holden are showing the way in looking to build their presence in China,

demonstrating that partnership and cooperation can deliver significant mutual benefit.

Strengthening and deepening the trade and economic relationship with China is an enduring priority for the government. We enjoy strong and wide ranging economic complementarities with China which bolster economic and trade ties. The Government has set an ambitious agenda to maximise the trade potential in China.

Growth in Australian exports to China has averaged over 21 per cent annually over the past five years. It is Australia’s second largest merchandise export market, worth A $9.9. billion in 2003-04.

Both countries have identified considerable opportunities for enhanced trade in services including education, tourism and telecommunications - to build on the already extensive trade in commodities and manufactured goods.

Earlier this year Australia and China agreed to fast track their scoping study on a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA). As

part of that decision Australia would also bring forward its study on China’s market economy status.

Agreement to complete the joint FTA feasibility study by the end of March 2005 reflects the good progress that has been made thus far.

Contact: Mr Vaile's office 02 6277 7420 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555