China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been signed.

The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed in Canberra this week, during a ceremony attended by PM Tony Abbott and China’s Commerce Minister.

The China Australia Free Trade Agreement  (ChAFTA) has been signed in Canberra this week. The bilateral FTA will help bolster Australian agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, education, finance and professional services, with the potential to transform the Sino-Australia economic relationship. "This is a momentous day – an absolutely momentous, historic day – for our two countries," said Tony Abbott.

ChAFTA will help reduce the barriers for Australian companies as they seek to enter an increasingly competitive market. Currently they face tariffs of up to 40% on goods exported to China. Australian goods and services are recognised as being of a high quality, and the new agreement will give us a significant advantage over some of our largest competitors, including the US, EU and Canada. Australian tourism and hospitality operators will now be able to operate wholly-owned subsidiaries in China, including hotels and restaurants.

Other benefits will include cheaper prices for Australian consumers, as the 5 per cent tariff on Chinese manufactured products, such as electronics and whitegoods, is phased out. It is expected that business travelers may now see the issuance of visas streamlined, but we await further news on this and will keep you posted.