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China-Australia FTA Comes Into Force

On December 9 in Sydney, Australia's Ambassador-designate to China, Jan Adams, and Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu exchanged diplomatic notes that set December 20, 2015, as the date for the entry into force of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

As the FTA will come into force in 2015, the tariff reductions for its first year will occur immediately. Its scheduled second year reductions will take effect on January 1, 2016.

"This will deliver a very material early harvest for our exporters in the form of two rounds of annual tariff cuts in quick succession," said Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb. "This will save our exporters hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in extra tariff payments next year alone compared to if entry into force had been delayed until sometime in 2016."

Upon the FTA's entry into force, more than 86 percent of Australia's agricultural, resource, energy, and manufactured goods exports to China (worth around USD63bn in 2014) will be tariff free, before rising to 96 percent upon full implementation.

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