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2014 Business Review XIII: China-Oceania Trade, Economic Relations Open New Chapter

China鈥檚 trade and economic relations with Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island countries maintained a steady development in 2014. In November 2014, President Xi Jinping paid state visits to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and met with the leaders of eight Pacific island countries which had established diplomatic relations with China. China established comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia and New Zealand, and strategic partnership with mutual respect and development with Pacific island countries, which opened a new chapter of bilateral relations between China and Oceania countries.

1. Exchange of high-level visits promoted pragmatic cooperation.

In 2014, the prime minister of Australia and that of New Zealand visited China respectively, and China and the two foreign countries realized the exchange of visits by their leader within the year. State leaders and trade ministers of Oceania countries including Papua New Guinea met with Chinese leaders and the Chinese commerce minister in many regional and multilateral occasions like APEC and G20 meetings, strongly promoting bilateral pragmatic trade and economic cooperation. In June 2014, the China-Australia Ministerial Economic Joint Committee met successfully in Australia, substantially promoting China-Australia FTA negotiations. Besides, China and Fiji held the second Economic and Trade Joint Committee meeting.

2. China and Australia closed FTA negotiations substantially.

In November 2014, when President Xi Jinping was visiting Australia, the trade ministers of the two countries signed the intention statement on substantially concluding the FTA negotiations. China-Australia FTA negotiations were launched in April 2005, and it was another comprehensive and high-level free trade agreement China signed with important economies of the Asian-Pacific region after the China-ROK FTA. The agreement covered about 10 sectors including trade in goods, trade in services, investment and rules and 鈥1 century economic and trade issues鈥like e-commerce and government procurement, realizing the comprehensive, high-quality and benefit balanced goals. The signing of the agreement will make the economic advantages of the two countries complementary and help them gain mutual benefit and promote deep development of bilateral trade and economic relations.

3. The follow-up work of the 2nd China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum went smoothly.
The implementation of the forum was steadily progressed in the year. The measures announced by China ran smoothly. The two parties have gained partial results in supporting major project construction of island countries, expanding export to China, developing human resources, developing medical and health services and agricultural production, environment protection and prevention and reduction of natural disasters, and carrying out tourism cooperation.

4. Bilateral trade witnessed a steady growth.

In January-October of 2014, the trade volume between China and Oceania countries amounted to US$ 131.61 billion, up 5.7% year on year. China鈥檚 export to Oceania reached US$ 37.83 billion, up 2.9% year on year; import from Oceania was US$ 93.78 billion, up 6.8% year on year. Major export products of China to Oceania included mechanical and electrical products, clothing and textiles, light industrial products, chemical and medical raw materials, and major imports from Oceania included iron ore, dairy products, alumina, beef, wool and log, and fishery products. China was still the largest trade partner, largest import source and largest export market of Australia, and became the largest trade partner of goods and largest export market of New Zealand for the first time.

5. Chinese enterprises sped up their pace of going out to Oceania.

In January-November 2014, the non-financial direct investment of Chinese enterprises to Oceania was US$ 2.54 billion, mainly in the fields of energy and mining resources development, agriculture and husbandry, aquatic products and tourism cooperation.

In January-November 2014, the newly signed contracts of Chinese enterprises in Oceania amounted to US$ 1.46 billion, up 9.2% year on year; completed turnover reached US$ 2.03 billion, up 11.5% year on year. Among that, the contracting projects in Papua New Guinea gained historical breakthrough, winning the bidding of several large projects, covering highway, housing, water affairs, power station, bridge, port and communication construction.

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