Free Trade Agreement with China welcomed by NSW

18 June 2015

Chinese and Australian flags

The signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has been welcomed by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Trade Minister Stuart Ayres.

Mr Baird said China was the State's largest trading partner and the new deal would open up opportunities for NSW businesses.

Opportunities for businesses

"The relationship between the NSW Government and China has developed over the past 12 months and this agreement complements our efforts to date," Mr Baird said.

"Annual trade between NSW and China is worth more than $30 billion and I anticipate further economic growth as a result of today's agreement.

Mr Ayres said four key areas had been identified that would benefit NSW businesses under the ChAFTA. "Trade between NSW and China is growing and we anticipate growth in the areas of financial services, agribusiness, legal services and tourism," Mr Ayres said.

"NSW beef exports increased 136% during the 2013/14 financial year so our farmers are set to benefit from having greater access to the Chinese market.

Sydney as an offshore Renminbi centre

"We'll continue promoting our financial services, with the trade between Australia and China growing at almost 100% each year for the past five years," said Mr Ayres.

Last year, The NSW Government successfully led the national push for Sydney to become an offshore trading hub for the Chinese currency, with 13% of Australian companies now trading in Renminbi (RMB) – the biggest market outside of Asia.

It's estimated 30% of China's total trade will be settled in RMB by the end of 2015. Sydney is well-placed to be an offshore RMB centre – with well-credentialed, motivated banks, robust infrastructure and a friendly regulatory environment, a talented workforce, and market potential and products.

A recent report by KPMG showed 72% of all Chinese investment in Australia flowed into NSW, with total investment growing from $1 to $7 billion over the past year.