SYDNEY : Australia will encourage businesses diversify their trade into new and emerging markets, Trade Minister Don Farrell will say in a speech on Thursday, even as ties heal with China, its largest trading partner.
“It’s why this government has spent the last year working to diversify our trading relationships,” he will tell the National Press Club in Canberra.
“We’ve learnt valuable lessons over the last few years, and I encourage all Australian businesses to continue with their diversification plans – and take advantage of new and emerging markets,” according to Farrell, who recently returned from a visit to China.
More than two years after China first slapped tariffs and unofficial bans on a range of commodities including coal and barley, Beijing has begun removing restrictions. But Australia, chastened by the experience, is developing other trade relationships.
A free trade agreement with Britain will kick in on Wednesday and a deal that lifts most tariffs with India entered into force last December. In a visit to Sydney last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed a more comprehensive agreement.
Farrell will also burnish the centre-left Labor government’s credentials as a trusted trade partner that plays by the rules in his speech, amid concerns from domestic gas suppliers and their customers in Asia that repeated interventions could curb investment.
“We will continue to be the government of free, fair and open trade. Where the rules of the game are known and respected,” Farrell will say.