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Aussie state premier says China-Australia FTA example of benefits of globalization

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-08 10:36

MELBOURNE - Other nations could learn a lot from Australia's willingness to embrace globalization, the Premier of the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday.

Premier Daniel Andrews told the Boao Forum For Asia that encouraging further globalization in an increasingly "isolationist" political climate was vital to future global prosperity, and that foreign leaders only have to look to Australia's lead to recognize the vast benefits of embracing globalization.

The Boao Forum is an opportunity for economic, business and political leaders to discuss "The Future of Globalization," and Andrews lauded the leading role Australia has played in encouraging the movement, through free trade deals, education opportunities and tourism.

He said the benefits of Australia's free trade deal with China were obvious to see, and multilateral international cooperation could open a lot of doors for further opportunities in the region.

"The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is one (positive) example," Andrews told the forum. "If we can get (agreements like this) done in a bilateral way, we can improve partnerships for the benefit of everybody involved.

"They might be stronger if they were of a multilateral nature but ultimately we're committed to making the most of the arrangements we have. I think ChAFTA, and other free trade deals in the region, are a model for what can be achieved."

Andrews said the current political landscape was challenging for proponents of globalization, but added that embracing the global push would help and not hinder the global economy.

"It would seem that while there might have been support for things like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a year ago, but things have changed," the premier said.

"The important thing is to remember that globalization, open markets, open dialogue and shared investment are critical to prosperity and growth for the future. You simply cannot achieve what we want to achieve if we don't work together.

"It's become fashionable to question globalization, and that's been something under close examination in many parts of the world of recent times."

He believed that this "isolationist" agenda seemed to be quite popular at the moment, but benefited no one.

Meanwhile Secretary General of the Boao Forum Zhou Wenzhong agreed with Andrews' sentiment, telling the forum that "globalization has been an important driving force for the global economy," while former Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan hailed the relationship between Australia and China.

"Both China and Australia are active promoters of globalization," he said.

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