World Economy

Australia, China Sign FTA

Australia, China Sign FTAAustralia, China Sign FTA

Australia and China signed a free trade agreement Wednesday, lifting most bilateral import tariffs following a decade of negotiations, media reports said, dpa reported. "What you have collectively done is history-making for both our countries," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, as the two trade ministers signed the deal in Canberra, the broadcaster ABC reported. "It will change our countries for the better, it will change our region for the better. It will change our world for the better," he said. When the deal, finalized by Australia's Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, is implemented, it will remove 95% of tariffs for Australian exports, lower hurdles for Chinese businesses investing in Australia, and extend more visas for Chinese visitors to Australia, Xinhua news agency reported. Bilateral trade in goods and services last year were more than $135 billion, with China being Australia's largest single trading partner.