China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)
The negotiation of high-quality, comprehensive bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) is an important economic strategy for the Government. FTAs can consolidate and extend the open trading environment for Australian business, meaning greater economic activity and more jobs available.
On 17 November 2014, Australia and China announced the conclusion of negotiations for a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
ChAFTA will support increased trade and investment between the two countries by reducing barriers to labour mobility and improving temporary entry access within the context of each country's existing immigration and employment frameworks and safeguards.
ChAFTA will provide improved access for a range of Australian and Chinese skilled service providers, investors and business visitors, supporting investment and providing business with greater certainty. Innovative new Investment Facilitation Arrangements (IFAs), which will operate within the framework of Australia's existing visa system, will also provide greater flexibilities for companies to respond to unique economic and labour market challenges. IFAs will be available for large infrastructure projects above $150 million, strengthening investment in this key area and leading to the creation of jobs and increased economic prosperity.
Alongside ChAFTA, Australia and China have also completed negotiations on a Work and Holiday Arrangement (WHA) under which Australia will grant visas for up to 5,000 Chinese work and holiday makers annually. The WHA will increase demand for tourism services and support the development of Australia's tourism sector, particularly in rural Australia.