CANBERRA, Australia: China and Australia have clinched a major free trade agreement, a deal which would add $17.56 billion to existing $130 billion worth trade between the two countries.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during a ceremony held in the parliament in Canberra on Monday.
“This has been a 10-year journey but we have finally made it, and both our countries will see the benefits flow through in the years ahead,” Abbott said.
The Australian premier lauded the deal and described it as the first Beijing had reached with a major economy and “the most comprehensive agreement China has concluded with anyone”.
The Chinese president in his address to the parliament vowed that China would pursue peaceful development with Australia and other nations.
Xi said that the deal will give Australian dairy farmers, winemakers and other sectors tariff-free access to the huge Chinese market within a few years.
The two leaders also pledged to work jointly to combat climate change by sharing technology aimed at improving the efficiency of coal usage.