Australian govt hopes for China FTA within 12 months

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Australian govt hopes for China FTA within 12 months

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced confidence that a free trade agreement (FTA) with China will be signed within 12 months,  media agency the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported. Tony Abbott Election Campaign

The comments were made after a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in which he said he would travel to China in the first half of 2014.

"It would be wonderful if a trip towards the end of the first half of next year was consummated by an agreement here," Abbott was quoted as saying.

"Our intention is to move as quickly as we can. I would be disappointed if we couldn't conclude a significant free-trade agreement with China in 12 months."

According to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia's exports to China stood at AUD$77.1  billion (US$72.8 billion) last year, while it imported AUD$43.9 billion (US$41.4 billion) from the Asian country.

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