China Meeting to Improve Trade Relations

Mr. Anthony Albanese has confirmed he is set to become the first Australian PM to visit China in seven years, after meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Thursday on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Jakarta. He will travel to Beijing to meet the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, later this year.

He accepted the invitation in a high-level meeting and welcomed the “frank and constructive” discussion, which came amid continued efforts by Canberra to remove billions in trade tariffs.

The diplomatic situation has thawed significantly with almost $18 billion worth of exports restored in the past year. But China has yet to lift impediments on other key commodities.

Trade Minister Don Farrell has identified his focus as being on $2.5 billion in wine and lobsters, as well as some beef and hay. He has suggested the government would consider dropping a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute over wine in exchange for China reviewing the tariffs.

He is already buoyed by the successful lifting of 80.5% tariffs on barley last month and will most likely follow the same template used with the WTO that got the long-blocked barley trade up and running, to ease restrictions on wine and lobsters too.

After the news emerged about Mr. Albanese’s upcoming meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson was invited to issue an official response at its regular press briefing last night. The spokesperson, Mao Ning, said:

“China welcomes Prime Minister Albanese to visit China at the invitation of Premier Li Qiang and stands ready to work with Australia to make sound preparations for the visit. China always believes that a sound and stable China-Australia relationship is in the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries, and conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the wider world.

“We intend to work with Australia to deliver on the common understandings between the leaders of the two countries, uphold the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit, properly handle differences, and continue to improve and grow our comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Read our related article:  Airfreight Route to China Resumes.

For more information about international trade and shipping – whether with China or elsewhere around the globe – contact us here at Colless Young. As licensed Customs Brokers and International Freight Forwarders we offer correct, professional advice on all your import and export transactions. We are based in Brisbane and provide a complete range of logistics services, for both airfreight and sea cargo through all Australian ports and airports.