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Australia confident of FTA with China

Updated: 2013-10-07 16:02
( Xinhua)

CANBERRA -- Australia is confident of securing a free-trade agreement with China in a year, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed at a press conference during the ongoing APEC Summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Monday.

Abbott held a bilateral talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday evening in Bali, and the two leaders agreed to increase trade between the two countries.

He said he was very confident of concluding a free trade agreement with China in a year.

"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," Abbott said.

Abbott pointed to a successful trade agreement between New Zealand and China. "Let's face it, the Kiwis, have had a series of agreements, including one with China, which have been very good for their economy," he said.

"They've managed to go from start to finish much more quickly than we've been able to manage over the last few years under the former government and I think we can do a lot better than that now, " he added.

Abbott confirmed at the press conference that he will travel to China in the first half of 2014.

"It would be wonderful if a trip toward the end of the first half of next year was consummated by an agreement here," he added.

Abbott also confirmed that Australia welcomes foreign investment. "Australia must always be open for business," he said.

Especially he said he wants Australia to get its "fair share" of Chinese investment.

In addition, he said negotiations are going well on a trans- Pacific partnership and a deal should be finalized by the end of the year.