China, Australia reach consensus on barley dispute within WTO framework: MOFCOM
Published: Apr 11, 2023 10:06 PM
A cargo ship carrying imported Canadian barley berthed at a port in Nantong, East China's Jiangsu Province on January 3, 2023.  The grain imported totaled 21,499 tons, and it was the first shipment of grain imported by the port in 2023, said, citing local customs. Photo: cnsphoto

A cargo ship carrying imported Canadian barley berthed at a port in Nantong, East China's Jiangsu Province on January 3, 2023. Photo: cnsphoto

Within the framework of the WTO, China and Australia have conducted friendly consultations and reached a consensus on the barley dispute, demonstrating the spirit of mutually beneficial cooperation, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday.
 "We are ready to work with the Australian side through dialogue, consultation and cooperation and accommodate each other's industrial concerns, properly resolve economic and trade disputes, including the two cases still at the WTO panel stage, and jointly promote the steady and long-term growth of bilateral economic and trade relations," said the spokesperson, who stressed that China and Australia are both WTO members and important trading partners of each other.
Also on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that China and Australia will resolve their concerns on economic and trade issues through constructive consultations so as to bring common benefits to the peoples of the two countries.
Speaking at press conference, Wang made the remarks in response to a media question on the resolution of the dispute over Australian barley.
According to a joint release posted on the website of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Australia has reached an agreement with China that creates a pathway toward resolving the dispute over Australian barley. 
Wang stressed that China and Australia are each other's important economic and trade partners with highly complementary economic structures and mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation. 
"China is ready to work with Australia to further implement the important consensus reached at the Bali Summit and the outcomes of the China-Australia diplomatic and strategic dialogue, and rebuild mutual trust and bring bilateral relations back to the right track based on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and seeking common ground while shelving differences," said Wang.
To improve, maintain and develop China-Australia relations is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and it is also conducive to peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, Wang noted.
On Monday, Wang announced that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu will visit Australia and Fiji this week. A new round of political consultation between the officials of the foreign ministries of China and Australia will be held during Ma's visit.
"Following recent constructive dialogue at all levels, we welcome China's agreement to undertake an expedited review of the duties over a three-month period, which may extend to a fourth if required," read the release by three Australian ministers - Penny Wong, minister for Foreign Affairs, Don Farrell, minister for Trade and Tourism, and Murray Watt, minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Australia has agreed to temporarily suspend the WTO dispute for the agreed review period, the ministers said.
Since 2020, China's 80.5 percent duties on Australian barley have effectively blocked exports to that market, worth about A$916 million ($611 million) in 2018-19, read the release.
Global Times