The 17th round of negotiations on the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held in Beijing from 22-24 November 2011.
The meeting made further progress on developing the text and structure of the Agreement, building on momentum from the 16th round.
On market access for goods both sides continued the process of taking stock of our respective offers and requests and exchanging information on the status of respective priorities and sensitivities. Constructive discussions were held and some progress was made in the text in chapters on trade in goods, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, customs procedures, technical barriers to trade (TBT), and rules of origin.
Further progress was made on developing text for the services and investment chapters. There was a useful exchange on both sides’ requests in services and investment market access.
In the legal and other issues group, negotiators considered and agreed a number of elements of new texts on a dispute settlement chapter and on transparency. Progress was made in refining the chapter on intellectual property and we also raised again our priority issues on electronic commerce. Australia reiterated its interest in including provisions on government procurement.
We would be pleased to receive any updated submissions from industry or interested stakeholders.