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 7 May 2008

China is Australia’s largest trade partner

China became Australia's largest two-way trading partner (imports and exports of both goods and services) in 2007, according to data released by Australian Bureau of Statistics Tuesday.

The trade figures are a milestone in the evolution of Australia's trading relationship with China, Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Australian Minister for Trade Simon Crean as saying.

Australia’s total trade with China in 2007 grew 15 percent to A$58 billion ($54.8 billion) while its exports to China rose 17 percent to A$23.8 billion, services exports grew 18 percent to A$3.9 billion on the back of strong growth in Chinese student enrolments.

“These figures show there is much potential for our trade to grow even further, which is why we are working hard to negotiate a free trade agreement with China,” Crean said in a statement.

“We have made good progress in negotiating that agreement over the past month, and I look forward to further progress at our next talks in June.”
Despite China becoming our overall largest trading partner, Japan will continue to be Australia’s largest export destination for the foreseeable future. Total two-way trade with Japan was worth A$54.5 billion in 2007.

“Japan continues to have a special significance as an Australian trading partner, reflecting the importance of the political, strategic, trade and economic links our two countries have developed over 50 years,” Crean said.

The US is Australia's number three trading partner, with total 2007 trade growing 0.1 percent to A$47.7 billion.




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