Australian Exports to China Still Face Hurdles After Hyped Trade Deal

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 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. 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.–sector.html