China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Highlights

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) offers considerable potential for Australian agricultural and services firms as a result of their improved market access. Dairy, meat and horticulture stand to gain significantly while most resource exports will end up having duty free access.

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  • Improved access for Australian food exports – phased tariff removal on dairy, beef, sheep-meat, wine, horticulture, seafood, hides-skins-leather.
  • Agreement allows discretionary barriers for beef and whole milk powder, for Australian exports above an agreed volume.
  • Some industries miss out (rice, cotton, sugar) – sensitive domestic sectors in China.
  • Improved access for Australian resource exports – tariff removal on coal, alumina and several other mineral ores.
  • Improved market access for Australian service providers – including finance, healthcare, legal services, construction and mining services.
  • Facilitates increased Chinese investment in Australia – increasing FIRB screening threshold for private sector investment projects.
  • This FTA generally well received by business, unlike some previous FTAs where lack of progress in market access in key areas was criticised.
  • These are all valuable initiatives but need to see more detail.

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