Chinese- Australian Free Trade Agreement and How to Expedite the Current Negotiations
Escobar Uribe, Gabriela
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Trade between Australia and China has rapidly grown in the last few years, which is the main reason why both governments sought to strengthen their commercial relationship through a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). After Chinese President Hu Kintao´s visit to Australia in 2003, China accepted Australia´s proposal of a Free Trade Agreement (AUCFTA) between the two countries. Both governments signed the Australia –China Trade and Economic Framework, in which the feaseability of a bilateral free trade agreement would be explored. The Joint Feasibility Study was finalized in March 2005, and formal negotiations commenced the following month. After 18 rounds of negotiations between the parts, both parties are still looking to reach an agreement that satisfies their key interests and brings the most benefits for them both. There are three main topics of discussion around which the negotiations are taking place: The removal (or reduction) of tariff and non-tariff barriers; the removal (or reduction) of regulatory barriers; and the implementation of encouraging measures for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the two countries (AGDFA, 2007).