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Vice-premier eyes more trade with Australia

Updated: Jun 25,2014 3:35 PM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (R) meets with Australian Treasury Minister Joe Hockey (C) and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb in Beijing, China, June 24, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

China will cooperate with Australia in more areas as two-way trade and investment continue to grow, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said here on June 24.

Zhang made the remark while meeting visiting Australian Minister of the Treasury Joe Hockey and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb in Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the Chinese government. The two sides exchanged views on advancing bilateral trade and investment.

Since the beginning of this year, China-Australia relations have developed well as trade, investment, cultural exchanges and cooperation in the multilateral arena continued to expand, according to Zhang.

“China and Australia have become major trade partners,” he said.

According to Chinese customs, two-way trade topped $13.6 billion in 2013. The figure has continued to grow in the first half of this year.

The two sides are accelerating talks on signing a free-trade agreement within the coming months.

Zhang said bilateral cooperation has brought tangible and substantial benefits to the people of the two countries.

He said China places importance in developing its relations with Australia and is ready to work in this regard so as to push forward the China-Australia partnership.

Zhang also expressed readiness to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Australia within multilateral frameworks, which could be a new highlight of bilateral ties.

China and Australia will host the APEC and G20 forums respectively this year. During his visit to China in April, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott invited President Xi Jinping to attend the G20 summit and visit Australia later this year. Abbott said he will attend the APEC forum in China.

During the meeting with Zhang, Hockey and Robb reiterated the importance that Australia attaches to relations with China. They expressed readiness to expand bilateral cooperation in the energy, resources, farming, manufacturing and financial sectors.

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