On 17 November 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Xi Jinping announced the conclusion of negotiations for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The Agreement is currently going through Parliament and is not yet in force, however upon ratification the Agreement is expected to enhance the growing trade and investment relationship between the two economies and significantly benefit Australian exporters.
Direct benefits for exporters
- More than 85 per cent of goods exported to China will be duty free upon entry once the Agreement has been ratified; this figure will reach 93 per cent in four years' time and 95 per cent at full implementation
- Resources and energy is another key component of ChAFTA - 92.9% of these products will be duty free on entry, and most remaining tariffs are to be removed within four years
Indirect benefits for exporters
- Financial service providers, such as banks and insurers, will have greater access to the Chinese market
- Tourism service providers will be able to invest in hotels and restaurants in China
- Healthcare providers will be able establish and operate hospitals and aged-care facilities in China
- Law firms will have guaranteed access in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and will be able to offer Australian, Chinese and international legal services
- China will list 77 Australian private higher education institutions on a Ministry of Education website, giving these providers a greater profile with prospective Chinese students.
- In order to obtain these benefits, Australian exporters will have to meet origin requirements
- Exporters wishing to claim preferential treatment under the ChAFTA must provide either a certificate of origin or declaration of origin
- Goods will have Australian origin if they were wholly obtained in Australia; they were produced entirely in Australia, exclusively from Australian materials; or they were manufactured in Australia