Australian trade minister to visit Korea, Japan, China for free trade talks

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-14 16:14:18

Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit South Korea, Japan and China from November 14 to 22 to restart negotiations on the stalled Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Australia's three most significant trading partners, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced Thursday.

"Free trade negotiations with our three biggest export partners floundered under the previous government. Labor's failure to conclude any of these agreements in six years was a major lost opportunity," Robb said.

"We are determined to make up lost ground and conclude these agreements as soon as reasonably possible."

The DFAT press release said in South Korea, Robb will meet Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategy and Finance, Dr Hyun Oh-seok, and Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick.

In Japan, he is expected to meet with senior Japanese Ministers with trade responsibilities, including Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Trade and Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari and Agriculture Minister Yoshiro Hayashi to discuss opportunities to enhance our deep and long-standing trade and investment partnership.

While in Tokyo, Robb will also meet representatives of key Japanese firms with investments in Australia and members of the business community in Japan.

The trade minister will then visit China where he will discuss options for progressing bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

"This agreement has been in the making since 2005. As the Prime Minister said recently, we should be able to bring it to a conclusion in the foreseeable future," he said.

Robb will also hold meetings with Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei.

He is also scheduled to meet China's senior leadership, as well as Australian companies doing business in China and a number of China's top level businessmen and investors.

Posted in: Economy

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