Thursday 30th July 2015 - 1:37 pm

China FTA a turning point:PM

by Alan Thornhill

Tony Abbott says the China-Australia free trade agreement will be as vital to national prosperity as earlier decisions to float the $A and deregulate banking.

Addressing the Boao Financial Services Forum in Sydney today, the Prime Minister also paid tribute to two of his predecessors, Bob Hawke and John Howard, for their roles in promoting Australia’s trade with China.

Mr Abbott said prosperity and jobs are generated by trade.

“Australians today are wealthier and our country is more prosperous and more influential because we have grasped the opportunities of trade,” Mr Abbott said.

“As you all know, Bob Hawke was one of the founders of the Boao Forum.

“Better than many others and sooner than many others, he understood that Australia’s future prosperity rested on our trade with China.

“Australia is now poised to realise the Hawke vision and to complete the work begun by Prime Minister John Howard over a decade ago, when the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement passes through our Parliament in the next few months and enters into force.

“This is a decisive moment for the economic future of Australia.

“It is as vital to our long-term prosperity as floating the dollar and deregulating banking was in the 1980s.

“The FTA with China will change Australia for the better, it will change China for the better and it will change our region and our world for the better.

“It will secure the employment of generations of Australians to come.

“It will provide massive new markets for our entrepreneurs.

“It will provide investment opportunities that will enrich the Australian people and the Chinese people alike,” Mr Abbott said.


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Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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