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First anniversary of China-Australia FTA

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Today marks the first anniversary of the ground-breaking China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

For the past year ChAFTA has given Australian businesses a competitive advantage to help drive Australian exports and create new jobs, said Trade and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo.

“ChAFTA is the most favourable trade deal China has ever done with a developed economy,” Mr Ciobo said.

“It has put Australian exporters in pole position to capitalise on China’s growing middle class and their increasing demand for the high quality goods and services Australia offers.”

In the first three quarters of 2016, as tariffs were cut, the value of Australian exports to China at least doubled for products including fresh cherries, fresh and chilled abalone, and unwrought zinc.

Over the same period, export values of fresh table grapes jumped six-fold to $102 million, exports of medicaments for therapeutic use grew more than 90 per cent to $523 million, milk powder exports grew almost 80 per cent to $127 million, bottled wine exports grew more than 40 per cent to $309 million, fresh navel orange exports grew 55 per cent to $51 million, and fresh cheese exports grew 28 per cent to $33 million.

On January 1 there will be a third round of tariff cuts under ChAFTA.

Premium Australian products like bottled wine, various pharmaceuticals, nuts, ice cream and seafood will face a tariff less than half that paid by major competitors like France, the US and Canada.

“And every year, those tariffs will be cut again for Australia until they reach zero, building on the competitive edge ChAFTA is already providing,” Mr Ciobo said.

“China is Australia’s largest market for service exports and ChAFTA is creating exciting opportunities for Australian services firms in the health care, aged care, architecture, construction, telecommunications, financial, legal and mining sectors.

“ChAFTA is unlocking exciting possibilities to our largest export market and is creating jobs as businesses expand and employ more people to meet the demand ChAFTA is creating.”

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