Post-Event Update | China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) Seminar

On August 18, a seminar on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was held at the Chinese Chamber of International Commerce in Xicheng. This event was organised by the CCIOC with the cooperation of AustCham to the end of enabling better understanding of the ChAFTA in the first year of its implementation.

Those in attendance heard firstly from Ms Elizabeth Peak, Trade and Economic Minister-Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Ms Peak highlighted the benefits of ChAFTA to both China and Australia in helping them to navigate structural transitions in their economies, and elaborated on the “most favoured nation” clause which sees an historic phasing out of a vast number of tariffs.

The second speaker was Mr Zhou Mi of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation. Mr Mi began by giving commentary on the specific figures of China’s recent trade and investment, and affirmed that the ChAFTA stands benefit both countries in their economic transition. Mr Mi commented that the ChAFTA is conducive to China’s Belt and Road initiative to enhance its trade channels throughout Eurasia.

The third speaker was Ms Gong Hong Liu of the Law School at the University of International Business and Economics. Ms Liu spoke about the ChAFTA from a legal perspective and commented on dispute resolution mechanisms in China and Australia.

Join us at the Chinese Chamber for International Commerce to hear from three leading speakers on the rollout of the ChAFTA in its first year. With negotiations initiated back in 2005, the ChAFTA was finally signed in June last year and came into force on December 20. Tariffs on hundreds of products will be reduced or abolished. Tariffs on bottled wine imported into China, were reduced from 14 per cent to 8.4 per cent in January this year. Other industries see reductions in tariffs over a longer time frame. Speakers for this event will be:

– Elizabeth Peak, Minister-Counsellor at the Australian Embassy, Trade and Economic division
– Zhou Mi of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Ministry Of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM)
– Gong Hong Liu, Vice Dean of Law at the University of International Business and Economics

This event will be hosted by Zhao Zhen Ge, Director of the Department of International Chamber of Commerce Affairs, China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC)


Date: August 17, 2016
Time: 14:00-16:30
Location: Multifunction Hall, Level 5 – 506, CCOIC Building, No.2 Huapichang Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing
北京市西城区 桦皮厂胡同2号国际商会大厦
Cost: This event is free of charge




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Background Information on China-Australia Free Trade Agreement


China-Australia FTA negotiations began in April 2005, and lasted for 10 years. On 17 June 2015 the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed. This is the first time that China has signed a free trade agreement with a major international trading nation, and is also the most trade liberalised agreement that China has signed with any nation so far.

The agreement provides for improved conditions for trade in goods, services, investment and regulations between both countries. For example, 100% of products imported from China will be tariff free, and 97% of products imported from Australia will be tariff free. In the field of investment, both countries have granted each other mutual Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, improved market access to the service sector, and greatly reduced the enterprise investment review threshold. In the field of services, Australia has committed to use the “Negative List” to open up the sector for China, and establish an investment facilitation mechanism. The opening of the “green tunnel” for Chinese investment, engineering and technical personnel makes it easier to apply for an Australia visa and work permit in order to promote Chinese enterprises engaged in investment activities in Australia.

Since the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement came into force on 20 December  2015, the sectors involved and scale of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries has grown. Businesses from both nations have obtained a clear advantage in terms of international competition through tariff relief and other measures. According to Chinese Customs statistics, in the first half of this year, Australia’s exports to China reached 30.59 billion U.S. dollars, of which iron ore, agricultural products and coal were the top three export commodities. With the gradual implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the future growth potential of bilateral trade, there will be more opportunities for Australian companies to carry out trade and investment in China. Chinese and Australian businesses must understand how to make use of the preferential policies under the free trade agreement in order to widen their involvement in each other’s markets.