CHINA-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WILL SUPPORT GROWTH

CHINA-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WILL SUPPORT GROWTH
THE free trade agreement (FTA) with China provides Australia with a substantial opportunity to grow and diversify our economy over the next decade, according to the Business Council of Australia.

President Catherine Livingstone says the agreement will help create jobs in the future and maximise opportunities in global supply chains as the nation transitions from the mining boom.

"China is already Australia's largest export market for goods and services and it accounts for nearly a third of total exports," Livingstone says.

"China is also transitioning from an export-intensive economy to a more consumption and services-oriented economy, putting Australia in a strong position to benefit from the opportunities this transition provides.

"By 2020, China will have the world's largest middle class market. It will want high-quality, safe and premium agricultural food products for which Australia is globally renowned.

"It will demand the same value-added services in professional, finance, health, education and aged care that underpins around 80 per cent of our economy."

She says the FTA must prompt corporate boards and senior executives around Australia to consider how their strategy aligns with new opportunities in the world's second largest economy.

"It is an opportunity for Australian companies already operating in China to augment their presence and for many others to take advantage of the competitive edge," she says.

"The introduction of higher Foreign Investment Review Board thresholds for private investment and new investment facilitation arrangements will stimulate greater construction in new infrastructure, which will boost growth and jobs.

"All in all, the significant opportunities for two-way trade unlocked by this agreement will deliver lasting benefits for the whole community."

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