ChAFTA to boost China’s investment in Australia, make markets complementary

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-7 21:38:01

The China-Australia free trade agreement (ChAFTA) will further promote China's investment in Australia when it takes effect in the near future and Australia is committed to building on a growing investment relationship with China, Australia's Ambassador to China said Monday.

Under the ChAFTA, private Chinese investment below A$1.09 billion ($796 million) does not need approval from Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia, and an increasing number of investments from China are expected to be welcomed in the near future, David Dukes, commercial counselor of the Australian Embassy to China, told a briefing in Beijing.

The Australian government has prioritized five sectors for attracting foreign investment, including major infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, agribusiness and food, resources and energy, and advanced manufacturing services and technologies, Lin Huaili, senior investment manager of the Australian Trade Commission, said at the same meeting on Monday.

"Australia's economy was hit in recent years as the prices of bulk commodities kept going down, so the country is in need of foreign investment to help it get out of this situation," Wang Jun, deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), told the Global Times on Monday.

Xie Shuiqing, professor at the Finance & Economics College at the Chongqing Jiaotong University, said that the ChAFTA would benefit both countries as China has a large demand for agricultural products from Australia, which could make both markets complementary to each other.

China's investment in Australia has seen sharp growth in recent years, up from A$3 billion a decade ago to A$32 billion so far in 2015, according to the Australian Trade Commission.

"Going global is a necessary trend and the signing of the ChAFTA would bring more opportunities than challenges to China," Xie told the Global Times on Monday.

"It is also possible that some European countries may seek closer economic cooperation with China after the signing of the ChAFTA," Xie said.

China and Australia signed the FTA on June 17 after a decade of negotiations, in a move to boost trade and economic cooperation while both countries restructure their economies.

The ChAFTA will provide more convenience and create a favorable economic and trade environment for both countries, noted Wang, the deputy director from the CCIEE.

Posted in: Economy

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