Minister in Beijing for Trade Talks

Media release

24 July 2013

Trade Minister Richard Marles is in Beijing today for a series of talks aimed at stepping up negotiations on an Australia-China Free Trade Agreement.

In his first visit to China as Trade Minister, Mr Marles will meet with Commerce Minister Mr Gao Hucheng for high-level discussions on the FTA.

He is also scheduled for talks with Vice-Premier Wang Yang and the head of the China Investment Corporation.

"The Australian Government is committed to reinvigorating free trade negotiations with China and delivering an agreement which offers greater prosperity for both countries," Mr Marles said.

"Providing goods and services to the growing Chinese middle class represents an incredible opportunity to diversify the Australian economy and to move beyond the resources-dominated commercial relationship with our largest trading partner."

Mr Marles' visit to China comes two weeks after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to explore ways to advance the FTA negotiations.

Mr Marles will use the trip to brief Minister Gao and Vice-Premier Wang on implementation of the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

They will also discuss broader regional and multilateral trade developments, including avenues of cooperation in 2014 when Australia hosts the G20 and China hosts APEC.

Mr Marles will meet members of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing to seek their views on how to deepen Australia's business relationship with China.

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