Today’s announcement of the formation of a free-trade relationship between Australia and China has been welcomed Northern Australia’s most ardent advocate.
Northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald has welcomed the The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) as a significant step in the realisation of the Government’s aspirations for Northern Australia.
“For many years we have seen the potential of the North – with its abundant water and vast areas of arable land – as a centre for agriculture that can feed the world.
“But realising this kind of potential often needs a range of different factors to come into alignment.
“Achieving a free-trade agreement with China is one of the most important of those factors,” said the Senator.
Senator Macdonald acknowledged that the benefits of the ChAFTA will flow across the nation and into all sectors, but stressed that the timing could not be better for Northern Australia.
“The entire economy will benefit from the free-trade agreement with China, but then the entire economy will also benefit from the development of Northern Australia’s economic potential.
“And it is happening right now.
“Serious steps are now being taken by this Government to transform Northern Australia into this nation’s economic engine-room for the future.
“The markets for northern Australia’s high-quality products have always been there.
“But the free trade agreement with China has today removed commercial barriers with our single biggest trading partner.
“The potential this creates for agricultural and other export industries in the North is enormous.
“The free trade agreement will also create investment in the Northern Australian economy by making it even more attractive to do business in, and with, the north,” said the Senator.
Senator Macdonald said he was delighted that this announcement had come just days before the release of the Northern Australia White Paper