China to speed up free trade talks with Australia

Updated: 2012-07-13 14:24


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BEIJING -- Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday called for joint efforts with Australia to push forward free trade area negotiations during a meeting with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Treasury Wayne Swan.

China and Australia are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region and have enormous potential for cooperation, Li said.

He said he hopes the two nations will work together to create an equal, fair, non-discriminatory and convenient environment for trade and investment by companies from the two countries.

Li said the rapid development of investment and expanding cultural exchanges have benefited the two peoples, as well as world peace and prosperity.

Li called on the two countries to enhance political mutual trust and boost cooperation against the backdrop of a complicated global situation.

Swan said bilateral relations have entered a new phase of development in the four decades since their establishment.

Australia highly values its relations with China and is ready to strengthen coordination with China on regional and global issues, he said.

The two countries launched negotiations on a possible free trade area in 2005, holding 17 rounds of talks since then.