Australia-China Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Fifteenth round of negotiations

July 2010

The 15th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 28 to 30 June. This round continued the positive approach that developed at the 14th round in February, which had been the first round since December 2008. Both sides vigorously pursued their concerns and interests in a constructive manner. Many difficult and sensitive issues remain to be resolved.

On market access for goods there was a detailed discussion on both Australia and China’s requests in agriculture and industrial products. Each side outlined its interests and sensitivities in a straight forward manner. There was also a further exchange of views on how to deal with China’s sensitive sectors, in particular agriculture.

Further progress was made in the goods chapters with broad and productive discussions of trade in goods, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and customs procedures. Work will continue in all these chapters at the next round.

Australia and China discussed possible elements to include in the text of the services and investment chapters. On services and investment market access, the two sides had a constructive and detailed exchange of views on their investment, financial services and movement of natural persons requests.

Discussions were held on the institutional and framework, intellectual property and electronic commerce chapters and work will continue in those areas at the next round. Australia reiterated its interest in including provisions on government procurement and competition policy in the FTA.

We would be pleased to receive any updated submissions from industry or interested stakeholders.

For more information, contact the FTA Division: