News

December 2015

ChAFTA – in force now

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on 20 December 2015

On 20 December the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force. ChAFTA is an historic agreement that will deliver real benefits to Australia, enhancing our competitive position in the Chinese market, boosting economic growth and creating jobs.

ChAFTA to enter into force on 20 December 2015

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will enter into force on 20 December 2015, following an exchange of notes by Australia and China on 9 December 2015, certifying that both Parties have completed their domestic processes.

Ms Jan Adams, Australia's Ambassador-designate to China, and H.E. Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador of China
Ms Jan Adams, Australia's Ambassador-designate to China, and H.E. Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador of China, exchange notes in Sydney on 9 December 2015 to mark the completion of domestic processes for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

November 2015

Parliament passes implementing legislation

On 9 November 2015, ChAFTA customs implementing legislation was passed by the Australian Parliament. Amendments to related regulations will shortly be submitted to Federal Executive Council (Exco) for approval. Once these processes have been completed, Australia will be ready to exchange notes with China to bring ChAFTA into force.

October 2015

Joint Standing Committee on Treaties completes review

The Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) tabled the report of its inquiry into the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in Parliament on 19 October 2015. JSCOT Report 154 included a number of recommendations, including that binding treaty action be taken.

September 2015

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb introduced legislation needed to implement the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement into Parliament on 16 September 2015.

The Customs Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2015 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2015 are to be debated in the House of Representatives after the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is tabled.

August 2015

Statement to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry into the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

On 17 August 2015 Jan Adams, PSM, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and representatives of other Australian government agencies, appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry into the Free Trade Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the People's Republic of China. Deputy Secretary Adams’ opening statement can be read here.

June 2015

Tabling of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the Australian Parliament

Minister Robb tabled the text of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement with the National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 17 June 2015. The Agreement will now be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). More information about JSCOT and details on how to make a submission.

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee is also conducting an inquiry into ChAFTA and is receiving submissions. Further details on the inquiry into ChAFTA.

Signature of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

On 17 June 2015 Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in Canberra.

Media release: Australia signs landmark trade agreement with China

November 2014

Conclusion of China-Australia FTA negotiations

In a ceremony held at Parliament House on 17 November, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, and Chinese Commerce Minister, Gao Hucheng, signed a Declaration of Intent in the presence Prime Minister Abbott and Chinese President Xi, formalising the conclusion of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)negotiations.

September 2014

Twenty-first round of negotiations

The 21st round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Australia and China was held in Beijing on 1-5 September 2014.

Update: Twenty-first round of negotiations

May 2014

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.

Update: Twentieth round of negotiations

Nineteenth round of negotiations - June 2013

The 19th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing on 4-6 June 2013.

Update: Nineteenth round of negotiations

Eighteenth round of negotiations - March 2012

The 18th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Canberra on 19-21 March 2012.

Update: Eighteenth round of negotiations

Seventeenth round of negotiations - November 2011

The 17th round of negotiations was held in Beijing on 22 to 24 November 2011. Negotiators discussed the range of outstanding issues.

Update: Seventeenth round of negotiations

Sixteenth round of negotiations - July 2011

The 16th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Canberra from 5-7 July 2011. Both sides used the round to undertake a stocktake of each others' positions and sensitivities and to clarify the status of the text to date.

Update: Sixteenth round of negotiations

Fifteenth round of negotiations - 6 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.

Update: Fifteenth round of negotiations

Fourteenth round of negotiations - 3 March 2010

The 14th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Canberra from 24 to 26 February. This was the first round since December 2008, a hiatus of 14 months. Overall the 14th round proved to be a positive re-engagement between the two sides and served to consolidate work done so far. Discussions were held in a constructive manner with each side acknowledging the momentum generated by recent high-level discussions, and the many difficult and sensitive issues that remain to be resolved.

Update: Fourteenth round of negotiations

Thirteenth round of negotiations - 17 December 2008

The 13th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 1 to 5 December. In regard to market access for goods, the two sides continued the discussion on their respective sensitivities to tariff liberalisation, as begun at the 12th negotiating round.

Update: Thirteenth round of negotiations

Twelfth round of negotiations - 3 October 2008

The 12th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Canberra from 22 to 26 September. As foreshadowed at the 11th negotiating round, the two sides began more intensive discussions on their respective sensitivities to tariff liberalisation. Australia pressed China to explain why it was characterising as sensitive a range of agricultural products of interest to Australia. The two sides also discussed the outcomes of the joint wool study.

Update: Twelfth round of negotiations

Eleventh round of negotiations - 27 June 2008

The eleventh round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 16 to 20 June 2008. This was the first round since the Prime Minister agreed with his Chinese counterpart in April 2008 on the "unfreezing" of the negotiations, and since the Minister for Trade agreed with China's Commerce Minister to implement a more intensive work program.

Update: Eleventh round of negotiations

Tenth round of negotiations - 1 November 2007

The tenth round of the Australia-China FTA negotiations was held in Canberra on 22-26 October. While we narrowed our differences on some issues and made useful changes to the proposed text of the agreement, overall progress in the negotiations continued to be slow.

Update: Tenth round of negotiations

Ninth round of negotiations - 29 June 2007

The ninth round of the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement negotiations was held from 18 to 22 June in Beijing. Useful progress was made in some areas, but there is no sign of significant movement on market access issues in general.

Update: Ninth round of negotiations

Eighth round of negotiations - 12 April 2007

The eighth round of the Australia-China FTA negotiations was held from 26 to 30 March in Beijing. Useful market access discussions on trade in services continued and talks began on barriers to trade in investment. Progress was also made in discussion of some technical areas of the FTA.

Update: Eighth round of negotiations

Seventh round of negotiations - 20 December 2006

The seventh round of the Australia-China FTA negotiations was held in Canberra from 11 to 15 December 2006. Australia and China tabled their requests and offers on market access for goods (including agriculture) and lists of barriers affecting market access requests on a range of services.

Update: Seventh round of negotiations

Sixth round of negotiations - 14 September 2006

The sixth round of the Australia-China FTA negotiations was held in Beijing from 31 August to 6 September 2006. Discussions were useful, but market access negotiations on goods did not begin as planned. In preliminary talks, both sides agreed that China would need to provide more detailed information to enable the negotiations to commence. No timeframe was set but Australia is pushing for an early start. In the meantime, Australia's tariff offer is on hold.

Update: Sixth round of negotiations

Fifth round of negotiations - 26 May 2006

The fifth round Australia-China FTA negotiations took place in Beijing from 22-24 May 2006. At this meeting both sides started to consider the possible shape and content of an agreement. This followed several meetings with the Chinese in a detailed information exchange about our respective trade and investment regimes. Useful progress was made in a range of areas on drafting the architecture of an agreement during the fifth round, and both sides will start to negotiate actual provisions for access to each others' markets from the next meeting.

Update: Fifth round of negotiations

Fourth round of negotiations - 3 March 2006

The fourth round Australia-China FTA negotiations took place in Canberra from 27 February to 2 March 2006. This was the first substantive negotiating meeting to be held in Australia.

Update: Fourth round of negotiations

Third round of negotiations - 11 November 2005

The third negotiating meeting on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 2 to 4 November 2005. The Australian and Chinese delegations included officials from a wide range of agencies. (A list of the agencies represented from both sides can be found in our report of the second negotiating meeting.) The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade led the delegation for Australia, and the Ministry of Commerce led the delegation for China.

Update: Third round of negotiations

Second round of negotiations - 1 September 2005

A second negotiating meeting on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 22-24 August. This was the first substantive meeting between officials on the FTA negotiations (the first meeting, held in Sydney in May, covered procedural issues).

Update: Second round of negotiations

First round of negotiations - 26 May 2005

The first round of talks, held in Sydney on 23 May, focused on procedural issues, including confirmation that the Chinese negotiating team will be led by Zhang Xiangchen, an experienced negotiator and Deputy Director General of WTO Affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Update: First round of negotiations

2005 DFAT-Ministry of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding [PDF 64 KB] between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China on the recognition of China's full market economy status and the commencement of negotiation of a free trade agreement between Australia and the People's Republic of China.



Last Updated: 10 November 2015

Contact us

  • Email: chinafta@dfat.gov.au
  • Phone: (+61 2) 6261 1888 (within standard business hours)
  • Mail:
    China FTA Coordinator
    Free Trade Agreement Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
    R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221

For media enquiries, please call DFAT Media Liaison Section (+61 2) 6261 1555.

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