Australia looks to services industries in China

By He Shan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 26, 2016
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Austrade Trade Commissioner Liu Chuyang takes an interview from in Beijing on May 20. [Photo by Wang Guanjin/]

Australia looks set to promote its services industries, including financial, healthcare, architectural design, and education, to Chinese audiences and entrepreneurs at the upcoming Fourth China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), Austrade Trade Commissioner Liu Chuyang told during an interview in Beijing on May 20.

While speaking with, Mrs. Liu stated that CIFTIS, to be held in Beijing between May 28 and June 1, will present a good opportunity for Australia to showcase its capabilities in knowledge-based sectors in trading services. During the fair, representatives from National Australia Bank Limited, SinoSA and Woods Bagot will speak at a seminar organized by Austrade.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which came into force on December 20, 2015, has opened doors for many sectors in the two countries.

China is already Australia's largest services export market, worth AU$8.8 billion in 2014-15.

Under ChAFTA, in the fast growing Chinese healthcare sector, Australian businesses will be allowed to establish wholly-owned businesses in China, including in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, as well as in the provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan.

Moreover, China has also made a commitment to allow Australian businesses to establish wholly Australian-owned profit-making aged care institutions in China with no geographical restrictions.

The unprecedented market access that China has offered puts Australian firms at a significant competitive advantage.

However, Mrs. Liu believes that the benefits to services industries brought by ChAFTA may not produce concrete results as rapidly as with other industries, such that it may take some time to gauge the impact.

The Australian government is looking to services industries to boost exports and put the economy on a more sustainable growth trajectory.

In addition, Mrs. Liu mentioned medical tourism as one of the highlights in service trade between China and Australia, as Australia has emerged as a popular medical tourism destination for Chinese visitors in recent years.

"Australia, for example, is a leading country in treating dementia and cardiac diseases," she said during the interview.

Mrs. Liu also revealed that quite a few Australian medical and insurance agencies are approaching the Australian Embassy in China for assistance in the hopes of tapping the huge market in China.

"China and Australia have already been conducting a survey and making preparation with a view to provide more facilities to two-way medical tourism in the future," she said.

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