(Yicai Global) May 10 -- Australia will play an important role in the first China International Import Expo, CIIE, Andrew Robb, Australia's former minister for trade and investment, told Yicai Global in an interview, saying the expo will help further develop bilateral trade between Beijing and Canberra.
China-Australia bilateral trade entered a new development stage after the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA, in 2015, Robb said, adding China has been Australia's biggest export market and largest supplier of imports for years.
Since China is a huge market that is continually developing, countries across the world all hope to access the market, Robb said. The expo will significantly help lower the cost of doing business in China, which will benefit both companies exporting goods and services to China and Chinese consumers, he added.
Trade between China and Australia is booming, Robb said, adding that Australia has a strong advantage in agriculture, resources and energy and that bilateral agricultural trade has grown rapidly since the signing of the CAFTA. Both countries will continue to deepen cooperation and the free trade agreement will bring more dividends to China and Australia, Robb said.
In terms of education, Australia has attracted nearly 200,000 Chinese students to study in the country. Australia hopes to export educational services to China through jointly-run schools to let more Chinese students have access to quality education, Robb said. Australia also has a strong service sector and leads the world in medical services, he added.
Robb also highlighted Australia's strengths in water resources management. China has 20 percent of the world's population and 7 percent of global water resources, of which 63 percent have been polluted to varying degrees, he said. Australia boasts extensive experience in water resources management, sustainable farming methods and advanced production technologies that can help control and eliminate pollution, Robb added.
China and Australia signed the CAFTA on June 17, 2015. Robb signed the agreement on behalf of the Australian government. China and Australia have cut taxes three times under the agreement. China is set to further lower import tariffs on beef, mutton, seafood, dairy products, nuts and wine imported from Australia.
Editor: Mevlut Kati