Business / Economy

China-Australia FTA legislation passes through Australia's lower house

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-22 13:16

CANBERRA - The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is on track to be implemented before the end of the year, after the legislation was passed through Australia's lower house on Thursday.

The news followed Wednesday's decision by the federal Opposition to back the free trade agreement after previously threatening to block the legislation unless a number of amendments were made.

Labor asked for a number of measures to be implemented, namely mandatory Australian licensing for overseas workers, pay for overseas workers to be pegged to Australian standards, and for compulsory labor market testing to be regulated for all projects.

Australia's Trade Minister Andrew Robb told Parliament on Thursday that the agreement passing through the lower house was an important stepping stone towards a prosperous future for the Sino-Australian relationship.

"ChAFTA represents an agreement of outstanding quality between two highly complementary economies," Robb said.

"My Chinese counterpart Minister Gao Hucheng has described the deal as the most liberalizing trade agreement China has ever signed."

The bill has been passed onto the senate, which is expected to approve the agreement when it sits during November.

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