ChAFTA - Services and Other Outcomes


Key Outcomes

Australian providers will benefit from new Chinese commitments allowing them to offer a range of services, including through subsidiaries based in China that can be wholly Australian-owned, in the following sectors:
  • software implementation
  • research and development
  • services incidental to manufacturing
  • building cleaning
  • printing of packaging materials
  • translation and interpretation services
  • real estate, and
  • environmental services.


Legal Services

Australian law firms will be able to establish commercial associations with Chinese law firms in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ). This will allow them to offer Australian, Chinese and international legal services through a commercial presence, without restrictions on the location of clients.


Financial services

A future work program will deliver on-going market access in the financial services sector as China pushes ahead with economic reform and liberalisation.

Alongside these new financial services commitments, the respective central banks of China and Australia have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding facilitating the establishment of an official renminbi (RMB) clearing bank in Sydney. The clearing bank provides a more direct means of facilitating cross-border RMB transactions between Australian and Chinese entities than was previously available, and will improve the efficiency of cross-border RMB transactions.


Education services

Within one year of commencement, China will list on an official Ministry of Education website all Australian private higher education institutions registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Australia and China will continue to discuss options to facilitate student and teacher exchanges between both countries and increase marketing and recruitment opportunities for Australian education providers in China.


Telecommunications services

China will guarantee access for Australian companies investing in value-added telecommunications services in the SFTZ with improved foreign equity limits, now allowing for wholly Australian-owned companies supplying domestic multi-party communication (DMPC) services, application store services, store and forward services, and call-centre services.


Tourism and travel-related services

Australian service suppliers will be able to construct, renovate and operate wholly Australian-owned hotels and restaurants in China.

Australian travel agencies/tour operators are also able to establish wholly Australian-owned subsidiaries in China for tours within China for both domestic and foreign travellers.


Health and aged care services

China will permit wholly Australian-owned hospitals and aged care institutions to be established in China.


Construction and engineering services

China will provide new market access to Australian companies undertaking joint construction projects with Chinese counterparts in Shanghai. Australian companies will be exempted from business scope restrictions, allowing them to undertake a wider range of commercially-meaningful projects.


Manufacturing services

China will guarantee access for wholly Australian-owned companies to provide contract manufacturing services covering a wide range of manufactured products.


Mining and extractive industry services

China will allow Australian service suppliers to provide technical consulting and field services in coal bed methane and shale gas extraction.

China has also guaranteed access for consulting services related to exploiting oil and gas resources, as well as iron, copper and manganese resources in cooperation with Chinese partners.


Architecture and urban planning services

China will allow Australian architectural and urban planning firms to obtain more expansive business licences to undertake higher-value projects in China.


Transport services

China will permit Australian maritime transport service suppliers to establish wholly Australian-owned ship management enterprises in the SFTZ.

China has also provided Australia commitments on air transport services, including the coverage of ground handling, airport operation and specialty air services.


Other outcomes

ChAFTA includes additional commitments which:

  • Provide a framework for the growth of electronic commerce between Australia and China;
  • reaffirm existing international intellectual property obligations and provide a framework for future cooperation;
  • promote cooperation and coordination between relevant agencies on competition policy;
  • provide for future negotiations on access to China's government procurement market;
  • facilitate trade through streamlined customs processes.

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