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'Optimism, trepidation' as China-Australia FTA signed

18 June, 2015

"Ai Group welcomes the official signing today of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and, importantly, the release of the final details of the agreement," Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox asserted recently.

"The Trade Minister Andrew Robb deserves particular praise for his persistence and effort in getting across the line an FTA that was always going to be the most complex and contentious to conclude.

"Industry has long viewed the agreement with our largest trading partner with a mixture of optimism and trepidation.  With details now available, companies will be able to assess the details of the agreement and implement strategies – either to take advantage of the opportunities or adjust their business models in the face of increased competition in domestic markets.  As with all trade agreements, the process would have benefitted from deeper consultation and a better understanding of the opportunities and the threats before signing.

"Ai Group, which is named in CAFTA as an Authorised Body, is working with exporters to support them in understanding how to meet Rules of Origin for their product and producing export documentation that complies with the agreement.

"The national roll-out of the North Asia Free Trade Agreement Information Seminar Series, as well as the development of an online FTA portal, are important and welcome initiatives necessary to ensure that companies large and small can take best advantage of all FTA's, including CAFTA," Willox said.

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