China and Australia sign landmark free trade agreement

Global Business

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, right, shakes hands with China’s Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng, at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Penny Bradfield)

The governments of China and Australia signed a long-awaited “monumental” free trade agreement in Canberra on Wednesday, lifting most of the import tariffs in both countries.

The landmark signing by Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb and China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng finalized negotiations that began ten years ago and followed the Declaration of Intent signed in November 2014 by the two countries’ leaders, Tony Abbott and Xi Jinping.

After fully implementing the wide-ranging agreement, tariffs will be lifted on 95 percent of Australian exports, regulations that deterred Chinese business owners from investing in Australia will be loosened, and more visas for Chinese tourists will be granted.

Zhang Yansheng, Secretary-general of the Academic Committee of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the free trade agreement is a win-win decision for both sides.


Australia excited about agreement benefits with China
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China as a historic moment for both countries. CCTV’s Greg Navarro reports on how business leaders in Australia are already talking up the potential benefits of the deal.

Australia excited about agreement benefits with China

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China as a historic moment for both countries. CCTV's Greg Navarro reports on how business leaders in Australia are already talking up the potential benefits of the deal.


Liu Baocheng on Australia’s trade deal with China
For more on the trade deal, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori talked to Liu Baocheng, Founder and Director of the Center for International Business Ethics at the University of International Business and Economics.

Liu Baocheng on Australia\'s trade deal with China

For more on the trade deal, CCTV America's Michelle Makori talked to Liu Baocheng, Founder and Director of the Center for International Business Ethics at the University of International Business and Economics.

“Chinese manufacturing is strong, and so is Australian mining. In terms of iron ore and many energy resources, Australia has the biggest supply and China has the biggest demand,” Zhang said. “So it should be noted that the China-Australia FTA is a highly complementary one, where both sides will see sufficient benefits in trade and investment.”

Projections show that China-Australia trade will exceed $16 billion following the deal’s implementation.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, with the trade of goods and services last year exceeding $135 billion – almost a quarter of Australia’s total international trade.

Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Commerce said that China will speed up free trade agreement talks with other countries and regions this year and that it has great confidence in reaching more deals.

So far, China has signed 12 free trade agreements, covering 20 countries and regions in Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and Europe.

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