“The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will boost the Australian resources sector,” according to Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) CEO Simon Bennison. “It will increase Australia’s international competitiveness and support Australia’s resources and energy exports into China, worth more than $83 billion in 2013.”

Simon Bennison says, “Zero tariffs will be locked-in for iron ore and gold. In the past three years, gold exports to China have increased 1173%, with China now accounting for 64% of Australia’s total gold exports, up from 5% in 2010-11.

“The elimination of the 3% tariff on coking coal from day one of the agreement and elimination of the 6 tariff on non-coking coal within two years is highly beneficial to the Australian coal industry. Tariffs on other products will also be eliminated when the agreement comes into force, including for copper and alloys, alumina, nickel, zinc, titanium and other metals.

“Strengthening Australia’s relationship with China will be beneficial for increased investment in the Australian resources sector. Chinese investment in Australia in 2013 totalled $32 billion which accounts for just 1.3% of total foreign investment in Australia.

“The agreement also provides opportunities for Australian suppliers to export their services to China. China has guaranteed access for Australian suppliers to provide a range of services related to utilizing iron ore, copper and manganese resources in cooperation with Chinese partners.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb are to be congratulated on finalizing the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and meeting their pre-election commitments to sign FTAs with China, Japan and Korea. The China-Australia FTA is extremely positive for the Australian resources sector and the Australian economy as a whole,” adds Simon Bennison.

AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia.

The Export Council of Australia says Australian exporters are set to benefit from the historic trade agreement signed last week between Australia and its largest trading partner, China. It says the deal, which took a decade of negotiation, represents a victory for bi-lateral trade and an expansion of the economic relationship beyond minerals and resources.

“This ground-breaking deal will liberate more than 90% of Australia’s exports under tariffs over the next four years. Beef, diary, horticultural and services exporters are some of the biggest winners out of this historic deal.

“Other services sectors, such as engineering and architecture, have also managed to secure greater access to the Chinese market through streamlining of licensing, a reduction in restrictions, and advances in the mutual recognition of qualifications. The ECA also welcomes the provision for further negotiations on access to China’s government procurement market and the facilitation of trade through streamlined customs processes.”

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