Economic and Trade Relations
The Australia-China economic and trade relationship continues to steadily expand. China is now Australia's largest two-way trading partner in goods and services (valued at more than A$160 billion in 2013-14), our largest goods export destination (A$100 billion in 2013-14), and our largest source of merchandise imports (A$50 billion in 2013-14). The Government is pursuing a number of initiatives to strengthen and diversify this relationship.
Economic diplomacy is at the core of the Government’s international engagement. This is why we are bringing together activities in trade, growth, investment and business.
On 17 November 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi Jinping announced the conclusion of negotiations for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The Agreement will enhance the growing trade and investment relationship between our highly complementary economies.
The Government has been promoting its open investment regime and Foreign Investment Review Board process, which continues to attract Chinese investors. The stock of Chinese investment in Australia is now more than fourteen times the level it was in 2005 at $31.9 billion, with net new investments of $8.8 billion in 2013.
Increasing numbers of Australian businesses are entering the Chinese market with great success. However – like all cross border commercial activities – the benefits of doing business in China are coupled with considerable risks. The ‘Doing Business in China’ initiative continues to inform Australian companies about how to manage the risks and offers best-practice guidelines to dispute resolution.
Chinese business visitors will benefit from the increased flexibility offered by a new three-year multiple entry visitor visa, which was announced by the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon. Scott Morrison in February 2014.
In April 2013, Australia and China commenced direct trading between the Australian dollar and the Chinese renminbi. Direct trading should help to lower currency conversion costs, facilitate the currencies’ use in bilateral trade and investment, and promote financial cooperation between our two countries.