Senate debates

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Questions without Notice

Trade with China

2:29 pm

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you very much for the question, Senator Madigan. This is a really important question. He asked me about the ChAFTA. At its core, this agreement will mean more jobs for more Australians. It will mean better access to the world's second largest economy, an improved competitive position for export markets, more prospects for increased two-way investment and reduced costs for imports for Australian businesses and consumers alike.

ChAFTA will open significant opportunities for Australia in the world's second largest economy and one of the fastest growing. China is Australia's largest export destination for both goods and services, accounting for nearly a third of total exports. It is our largest export market for agriculture, resources and services and a growing source of investment, creating jobs and economic prosperity for Australia.

The benefit of this agreement is far reaching. One of the great beneficiaries in our economy is services, particularly our world-class health sector. We often forget that China is already Australia's largest services market, worth nearly $7.5 billion in 2013-14. The opening up of the Chinese health industry to foreign investment represents an unprecedented opportunity for Australian businesses, given China's growing middle class and its increased demand for quality health care.


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