China Pushing FTA Negotiations with Australia

On his visit to Western Australia, Jia Qinglin, a political advisor of China, stated that it was vital for Australia and China to continue in discussions with regard to free trade agreements. It is the hope of the Chinese government, that the two countries will be able to expand their relationship into various other industries, such as emission reduction, low carbon industries and energy conservation. Investment and trade in regard to these industries could be beneficial to both countries. And it appears that the recent talks with Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, have been positive.

Recently, the two countries have been cooperating and assisting each other in industries such as agriculture, energy and minerals, and due to the fact that they share the same views with regard to investment and international trade, continuing with the free trade agreement negotiations, seems to be most logical direction for China and Australia to move in. From Australia’s point of view, discussed by Barnett, they would be interested in finalizing an agreement in regard to study links, promoting business and the tourism industry. With the existing relationship between Western Australia and China, China has already become the biggest export and trading associate to the state, and if new developments could be made in the FTA negotiations, the future of trade for both countries would improve dramatically. “We should advance the FTA negotiations and maintain the good cooperation momentum.” Jia Qinglin said in his speech, and continued to say that “To reach a comprehensive, balanced, high-quality and mutually beneficial bilateral free trade agreement serves the fundamental and long-term interests of both Australia and China.”

Barnett raised the issue of getting more companies involved in the country”s mining operations, and encouraged Chinese investors to look at this industry. In regard to the relationship between Western Australia and China, Barnett stated that “Now I don’t know if I had much to do with the final outcome but there’s no doubt over the two years that followed, the relationship between Australia and China has gone from strength to strength particularly in this state.’ If FTA negotiations continue and the cooperation between these two countries improves, their interests will only grow to be more beneficial and strengthen industries on both sides.