Premier of China's visit to Australia

21 March, 2017, 13:05 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • China Premier set for official NZ trade visit

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the country will further open its services, manufacturing and mining sectors to the outside world, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, even as foreign enterprises struggle with protectionist policies.

Mr. Li, the first premier to visit Australia in 11 years, will arrive on Wednesday for five days before traveling to New Zealand. Two-way trade reached a new all-time high of NZ$23 billion in 2016.

"The visit is an important opportunity to set the agenda for the next stage of our strong relationship and demonstrates our shared commitment to open trade and economic growth", Mr English said when announcing the visit on Sunday.

Australia is also a staunch U.S. ally, despite discord between Canberra and the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has killed off an ambitious regional trade pact the Trans Pacific Partnership, and labelled a refugee swap deal with Australia as "dumb". More than 400,000 Chinese tourists visited New Zealand previous year, spending over $1.6 billion.

The previous Premier, Wen Jiabao, made at least one visit a year from 2000 to 2006, while Mr Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao visited in 1999 and 2003.

But another source said the Australian side was taking a "wait-and-see" approach to gauge how other major Western economies reacted to China's overtures.

China is Australia's biggest trading partner and the two have a wide-ranging free trade deal.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met heads of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises on the sidelines of the 18th China Development Forum in Beijing on Monday (March 20).

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