China and Australia sign long-awaited free trade deal

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China and Australia sign long-awaited free trade deal

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It has taken a decade to agree on but on Monday China and Australia signed a free trade deal that significantly expands economic ties.

It will open the Chinese market to Australian farm produce and its service industries, while the Chinese will see restrictions on investment in Australia lifted.

A parliamentary ceremony in Canberra saw Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping sign a memorandum of understanding. In all, 14 commercial deals were signed with a value of 14.1 billion euros. While China needs Australia’s raw materials, Australia needs Chinese capital to help restructure its agricultural sector so it can diversify from mining, and help feed the hungry Asian masses.

The Australians say once fully implemented the deal will remove import duties from 95% of its exports to China. The two countries will also look at ways of jointly tackling climate change, especially the development of clean-burning coal technology for power stations.