China puts into place FTA with South Korea, Australia

Beijing, Dec 10 (IANS) The free trade agreement (FTA) between China and South Korea and that between China and Australia will both take effect on December 20, the media reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen met South Korean Ambassador to China Kim Jang-soo and Australian Ambassador to China Jan Adams where they exchanged diplomatic documents confirming the implementation of the bilateral FTA, the People’s Daily reported.

The countries will implement the first tariff reduction on that day and the second tariff reduction on January 1, 2016.

The FTA talks between China and South Korea began in May 2012 and were completed in June after 14 rounds of talks. Under the deal, Seoul and Beijing will eliminate tariffs on more than 90 percent of traded goods each within 20 years after the implementation of the agreement.

On the China-Australia FTA side, the talks began in April 2005 and the agreement was officially signed in June 2015. The China-Australia FTA took a giant leap in October when the agreement gained bipartisan support in Australia’s parliament and secured legislative approval.

Upon full implementation of the agreement, tariffs will be lifted on 95 percent of Australian exports, hurdles will be lowered for Chinese businesses to invest in Australia and more visas will be granted to Chinese.

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