China and Australia signed a free trade agreement (FTA) in Canberra on Wednesday.
The Chinese government considers FTAs as a way to further open up to the outside world and speed up domestic reforms, an effective approach to integrate into the global economy and strengthen economic cooperation with other economies, as well as an important supplement to the multilateral trading system. The following are the FTAs signed between China and other countries:
In November 2004, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the Agreement on Trade in Goods that entered into force in July 2005.
In January 2007, the two sides signed the Agreement on Trade in Services, which entered into effect in July of the same year. In August 2009, China and ASEAN signed the Agreement on Investment.
In November 2006, China and Pakistan inked the FTA that took effect in July 2007. In February 2009, the two countries signed the Agreement on Trade in Services of the China-Pakistan FTA.
In November 2005, China and Chile signed the FTA that entered into force in October 2006. In April 2008, the two countries inked the Supplementary Agreement on Trade in Services of the FTA.
In April 2008, China and New Zealand signed the FTA that entered into force in October of the same year. Covering such areas as trade in goods, trade in services and investment, the agreement is the first FTA between China and a developed country.
China and Singapore signed an FTA in October 2008. Under the agreement, the two countries will accelerate the liberalization of trade in goods on the basis of the Agreement on Trade in Goods of the China-ASEAN FTA and further liberalize the trade in services.
In April 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country that signed a comprehensive FTA with China, demonstrating the two countries' firm commitment to opening up and fighting protectionism.
Costa Rica, a Central American nation that established diplomatic relations with China in June 2007, signed the FTA with the Asian country in 2010.
FTA talks between China and Iceland started in December 2006 and concluded on April 15, 2013. The agreement, which took effect on July 1, 2014, was the first free trade pact signed between China and a European country, covering a number of areas including goods trade, service trade and investment.
China and Switzerland launched FTA negotiations in January 2011. In May 2013, a memorandum of understanding on finishing the negotiations was signed during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the European country.
In July 2013, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng signed the agreement in Beijing with Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the two governments.
After more than a dozen rounds of FTA negotiations since May 2012, China and South Korea signed an agreement in Seoul on June 1, 2015. The pact, the largest bilateral free trade deal for China in terms of trade volume, marked another concrete step taken by the two Asian neighbors to consolidate all-round cooperation.