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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Vaile on Trade Ties with China

Australian Minister of Trade Mark Vaile spoke at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2004 trade ministers’ meeting on April 24, explaining Australia’s policy on the post-Cancun multilateral trading system and lauding Asia’s efforts to accelerate regional economic integration.


He said China’s role in the promotion of Asian economic growth was notable.


“A significant element of Asia’s recent dynamism has been the sustained, substantial growth in the Chinese economy,” he said. “China is stimulating regional growth by integrating itself into the production chains throughout the region”


Australia signed a framework agreement with China during President Hu Jintao’s visit to Canberra last October. The framework includes a commitment to strategic cooperation in a broad range of key sectors, including agriculture and mining.


“The Trade and Economic Framework we signed with China sets out an agenda to deepen economic integration over the next 5 to 10 years,” said Vaile. “This strategic cooperation reflects the fact that Australia’s bilateral commercial links with China, particularly the long-term supply of Australian resources, are forging ahead.”


He declared that bilateral business relations were at their best since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations.


Vaile noted that one of the core problems in bilateral negotiation is the recognition of China’s market economy status.


He acknowledged that China has been moving toward the market economy status since joining the WTO nearly three years ago, and that most of its industries had undergone market-oriented reform.


Vaile will meet his Chinese counterpart, Bo Xilai, in Beijing next Monday and Tuesday, and co-chair the tenth Joint Ministerial Economic Commission meeting.


He said that the meeting would fully cover Sino-Australian business relations, including discussion of a free trade agreement (FTA). “We are positive in the feasibility study,” he stated.


However, Australia will not hasten the study even though neighboring New Zealand recently announced the start of FTA talks next year.


“We want the best we can. If it takes more time, it deserves more time,” he said.


Australia has concluded FTAs with Singapore and Thailand. It is also pursuing a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the CER economies (Australia and New Zealand).

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Tang Fuchun April 25, 2004)

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