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China, Australia Free Trade Agreement Deal Completed
   2014-11-17 21:30:06    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott welcomes Chinese President for his attendance in the G20 meetings in Brisbane, Australia from Nov.15-16, 2014. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have announced that the two countries have completed a landmark free trade agreement , capping nine years of bilateral negotiations.

CRI'S Wang Mengzhen has more.

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott hails the agreement as a reflection on both countries' ability to be reliable partners.

"This has been a ten-year journey but we have finally made it and we will both see, both our countries will see the benefits flow through in the years ahead. It is, as I said at the beginning, a good day for Australia, a good day for China, a good day for consumers in both our countries and ultimately a good day for workers in both our countries."

According to the announcement, Australia will eventually reduce tariffs to zero on all goods imported from China, and China will remove tariffs on a vast majority of Australian goods.

This will include popular products such as dairy, beef and wool.

Li Jian, from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, says the renewed agreement will increase trade in farm products.

"From the point of Chinese producers, the resources in Australia have many advantages. The demands for their resources are increasing annually, which is also good for boosting the market in China. The animal husbandry and crop farming in China will also expand accordingly."

Li Jian adds that the deal will, on the other hand, boost China's agricultural production level.

"For animal husbandry, Australia has better land, water and other natural resources including weather condition than China. The lowered threshold will bring more Chinese enterprise to invest to Australia, the products can also be sold to China. The singing of the FTA between the two counties will be a mutually beneficial thing."

Li Jian points out that the deal will make a win-win situation for both sides since agricultural industry in China and Australia is highly complementary.

In regards to investment, the pair agreed to grant each other the most favored nation (MFN) status once the FTA takes effect.

This will bring more opportunities to Chinese investors as they become more and more interested in agricultural investment in Australia.

Jason Hayler is an Australian local land agent.

"Most investors that we currently met, it is a bit of generalization that, most of we've met with don't have any intention of flying out here and building a house and run the property themselves. What they are after is partnerships with caring Australian producers that have the skill and expertises to run a efficient and profitbal fund, so that is what the real opportunity is."

China is Australia's largest trading partner. With the free trade agreement implemented, Australia will further expand its export markets overseas using its abundant resources.

For CRI, this is Wang Mengzhen.

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