Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) delivers a speech at the China-Australia Cooperation on Economy and Trade Forum in Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2017. Li attended the forum together with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday attended the China-Australia Cooperation on Economy and Trade Forum with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull, during which they agreed to promote trade facilitation and liberalization. [Special coverage]
China is ready to work with Australia to further open markets to each other while following the spirit of fair trade, said Li at the forum.
Li also expressed the will to push forward negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the construction of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
Turnbull said that protectionism is “not a ladder to get out of the low-growth trap,” but “a shovel to dig it deeper.”
Turnbull agreed to work with the Chinese side to tap the potential of bilateral cooperation in service trade and investment, and advance innovation and research cooperation.
Noting the two countries enjoy different resources endowment and their industries are highly complementary to each other, Li agreed to work with the Australian side to further relax investment access, and stimulate two-way investment.
Li also briefed the forum on China's economy, saying that China will guide all sectors to focus more on promoting the supply-side structural reform and advancing the open-up, while working to shape a fair, transparent and standardized business environment, and attract more foreign investment.
Li said China, the world's biggest developing country, regards it a priority to promote healthy development and improve people's living standards.
Moreover, China is willing to work with Australia for promoting the concept of the community of shared future and to serve as the bedrock of the Asia-Pacific security and the propeller for world peace, he added.
China is Australia's largest trading partner. A free trade agreement between the two countries, known as ChAFTA, took effect in December 2015.