Australia-China Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Twentieth round of negotiations

May 2014

The 20th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Canberra on 5-8 May 2014. The round followed Prime Minister Abbott’s successful visit to China in April and saw comprehensive discussions across all issues of the FTA including elements of both market access and chapter text.

The Prime Minister has indicated the Government is charting a pragmatic course, aiming to bring FTA negotiations with China to conclusion by the end of this year. China’s leaders have said they also want to bring negotiations to a conclusion this year.

Discussions continued on chapter texts for Trade in Goods, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation, Rules of Origin, Dispute Settlement and Investment. Good progress was made on chapter text covering Institutional and Framework Provisions, Transparency and Cooperation. Constructive discussions were also held on other issues. In some cases text is now well advanced; in other areas more work remains to be done.

On market access for goods, negotiators attempted to define the scope and detail of market access to be included in the FTA. Constructive discussions covering services market access and MNP helped identify pathways to resolving sensitive issues.

Substantial work is still required to conclude negotiations. An intensive program of intersessional work is being pursued.

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

For more information, contact the FTA Division: