I look forward to welcoming His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, and his wife Madame Cheng Hong to Australia from 22-26 March.
This visit will highlight Australia’s strong economic relationship with China and our mutual commitment to encouraging trade and investment in our region.
China is our largest trading partner, with two-way trade of $150 billion in 2016. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has greatly strengthened trade and investment between our two countries, driving growth and job creation. We continue to see record bilateral investment, education exchanges and a booming tourism sector with close to two million journeys between our two countries in 2016.
Both our economies are in the midst of important transitions, creating new opportunities for collaboration in services, innovation and investment. Premier Li and I will announce the next stage of ChAFTA’s evolution to respond to these emerging opportunities.
At our annual leaders’ meeting, we will speak frankly and constructively about maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We will also discuss ways to strengthen our growing cooperation in a range of areas including energy, research and innovation, law enforcement, education, and tourism.
Lucy and I look forward to hosting Premier Li and Madame Cheng Hong in Canberra and Sydney.