Thursday, June 1, 2023

China urges Australia to move forward on trade thaw after 3 years of differences

The Chinese Minister of Commerce, wang wentaocalled on Australia both countries to make efforts to further common interests and to resolve their differences on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, state media reported today.

Wang conveyed this message to his Australian counterpart, Don Farrelduring the sixteenth China-Australia Economic Commission held on Friday in Beijing and which had been paralyzed since 2019, according to a ministerial statement released on Saturday night.

According to the Chinese minister, the economies of both countries are “highly complementary” and their economic and trade cooperation has been “fruitful”so he asked to find “common ground”.

He also assured that China is willing to expand areas of collaboration with Australia, while calling on that country to give Chinese companies a fair deal.

For his part, Farrell highlighted the progress bilateral agreements of recent times to improve trade relations and address the main differences between the two countries, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce.

The Australian Minister of Trade stressed that his country is open to further strengthening cooperation with China in regional and multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).

During the meeting, Wang and Farrell agreed to reactivate the bilateral committee on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), strengthen cooperation environmental and on reducing carbon emissions and supporting relations between Chinese and Australian companies in the digital commerce sector.

Australia The US and China have made important progress in the last year to resolve the trade dispute that they have had since 2020 and which led to the imposition of duty mutual agreements in numerous sectors, including Australian wine, and also the unofficial stoppage by the Asian country of Australian imports in various areas.

In recent months, trade in products such as coalcotton and copper, while the talks on barley are advanced, according to official Chinese sources.

Despite the aforementioned restrictions, bilateral trade in goods with China added some 287,000 million Australian dollars (US$194.442 million or €177.107 million) in 2022, according to official Australian figures.

The measures were imposed in 2020 after the government of then Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched an investigation into the origin of covid-19, although China, Australia’s main trading partner, denies that this was the reason.

This rapprochement occurs despite the recent push for the AUKUS security pact (between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) – which includes the Australian acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, an initiative seen as a counterweight to China’s growing influence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region-, among other geopolitical and ideological divergences.


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