Australian Food Exports Not Part of China FTA

A trade deal signed with great fanfare between China and Australia has been touted as a major step towards Australia shifting its economy from a “mining boom” to a “dining boom,” but the reality is likely to be more sobering.

Australia is looking to replace its reliance on exports of minerals such as coal and iron ore as mining investment wanes and demand begins to dwindle. The government would prefer to expand its food and agricultural exports to capitalize on a rapidly growing Asian middle class.

It has high hopes for the proposal for a free trade agreement (FTA) signed on Monday by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi, but the more likely winner from the deal is the services sector.

 
The deal is designed to open up Chinese markets to Australian farm exporters and the services sector, while easing curbs on Chinese investment in Australia. China is already Australia’s top trading partner, with two-way trade of around A$150 billion ($130 billion) in 2013.

Several major agricultural foodstuffs, including sugar, rice and cotton, are currently excluded from the FTA, and Australia’s frequent severe droughts impose a natural production ceiling on those sectors that are part of the pact.

Experts are waiting for the full text of the pact, which Australia called the best ever between Beijing and a Western country, warning the devil may yet be in the detail.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency
trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza