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Chinese FTA Boosting Australian Exports

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

21 December 2017


Australia's goods and services exports to China rose by 25 percent in 2016-17, with Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo attributing this to the removal or reduction of tariffs under a free trade agreement.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on December 20, 2015. Upon the agreement's entry into force, more than 86 percent of Australia's goods exports were able to enter into China duty free. Once the agreement is fully implemented, this figure will rise to 96 percent.

Marking the second anniversary of the agreement's entry into force, Ciobo said: "Removal or reduction of Chinese tariffs has strengthened our export numbers to our largest trading partner – Australia's goods and services exports to China rose 25 percent in 2016-17, to a record AUD110bn (USD84.3bn)."

Ciobo noted that, for example, in the first nine months of 2017, exports of bottled Australian wine rose by 61 percent on the same period in 2016. Exports of skincare products increased by 48 percent, and exports of unwrought refined lead increased 15-fold.

A fourth round of ChAFTA tariff cuts will come into effect on January 1, 2018. These reductions will benefit Australian products such as abalone, oranges, bottled wine, and skincare products.

The tariffs on these products will be cut again each year until they reach zero.

A review is currently underway of ChAFTA's service and investment chapters. Once the review is complete, the Australian Government will look to open negotiations "to enhance ChAFTA commitments in those areas," Ciobo confirmed.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | Australia | China | agreements | import duty | trade | services

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