Media release

5 November 2019

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham will visit Shanghai to lead Australia’s delegation at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) as well as participate in ministerial-level discussions on World Trade Organization (WTO) related matters.

CIIE is a key event for China to promote its trade and economic links with the international community. It is the world’s largest import-themed trade expo and provides a key opportunity for Australian companies to showcase our premium products and services to prospective buyers from across China.

Minister Birmingham said more than 200 Australian companies would attend this year’s CIIE, spanning across a range of sectors from food and agriculture to medicines and healthcare.

“Australia’s strong representation at CIIE is recognition of the close trade and investment relationship our businesses share with China, underpinned by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“We strongly support and value China’s continued economic success which has lifted millions out of poverty and provided widespread benefits to our region.

“China’s growth has transformed our region, with Australia’s two-way trade with China surging to $213 billion in 2018-19 with goods exports increasing 26 per cent to $135 billion.

“Our strong representation at this year’s CIIE reaffirms the importance of this mutually beneficial relationship which has opened new doors for Australian businesses and created thousands of extra Australian jobs.”

Minister Birmingham will also participate in ministerial discussions chaired by China which will focus on the next steps for WTO reform.

“Australia continues to advocate for an open and rules-based multilateral trading system. With the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference now only 7 months away, it’s important we continue to intensify efforts to progress WTO negotiations and reform initiatives,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australia welcomes China’s leadership in chairing these important discussions and is grateful for the opportunity to cooperate on our support for the WTO and discuss means to improve its operations.

“It is especially crucial that we intensify efforts to finalise work to address unsustainable fisheries subsidies as well as the need to drive forward negotiations on agriculture, e-commerce and services domestic regulation.”

While in Shanghai, Minister Birmingham will also open Australia House, an initiative by AustCham Shanghai to create a working and networking hub for the Australian business community.