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China, Australia to ‘step up’ trade talks, minister Farrell says after meeting

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Australia, China trade chiefs ‘step up’ talks, minister Don Farrell says, but no deals yet after years of frosty ties

Trade minister Don Farrell met counterpart Wang Wentao in China on Friday and says ‘a whole lot of movement has started’But ‘trade impediments didn’t occur overnight’, and Farrell intends to ‘keep the pressure on’ to resolve Canberra’s disputes with BeijingChina-Australia relationsRalph JenningsPublished: 11:27pm, 12 May, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Trade officials from China and Australia agreed at a meeting on Friday to “step up dialogue” toward lifting trade barriers, with intentions to meet again this month, Australian trade minister Don Farrell said.

Three years after relations between the countries were plunged into a diplomatic deep freeze that has been gradually thawing for the past few months, Farrell and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, spoke on Friday at the 16th Joint Ministerial Economic Commission.

“I’m very pleased to confirm we agreed to step up dialogue under our free-trade agreement and other platforms in order to resolve outstanding issues,” Farrell said at a news conference in Beijing. “A whole lot of movement has started already.”

But the two sides apparently did not reach any agreements on Friday.

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