China and Australia have sealed a major free trade agreement, as Chinese President Xi Jinping made a rare address to parliament in Canberra.
The deal, the result of a decade of talks, will open up markets worth billions of dollars, Canberra says.
It will give Australian dairy farmers, winemakers and other sectors tariff-free access to the huge Chinese market within a few years.
Meanwhile, China is seeking greater access for its investment projects.
Mr Xi is on a state visit to Australia following the G20 summit. In his speech to parliament, he vowed China would pursue peaceful development with Australia and other nations.
Ministers from China and Australia signed a Declaration of Intent on Monday, however the agreement will be signed in 2015 after the draft is translated and legally reviewed, a statement said.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the deal as the first China had concluded “with a substantial economy, with a major economy; and it’s the most comprehensive agreement that China has concluded with anyone”.
The big winners are seen to be Australia’s dairy and beef industries which will see tariffs removed. Parliamentary Secretary Josh Frydenberg said the agreement meant that “up to 95% of our exports over time will enter the Chinese market tariff-free”.
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