Virginia, US
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| Teresa Liu

ChAFTA Gains Pace with “Australia Week" in China


Momentum continues to grow and surrounds commercial opportunities from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) with a major event led by the Australian Trade Commission- Austrade- being held 11-15 April 2016 in China.

Only the second of its kind, Australia Week will be delivered in cities including Hong Kong, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou before all delegates come together in Shanghai. Eight sector-specific programs aimed to assist companies grow their business in international markets have been developed and include agribusiness, financial services, health and aged care, tourism, premium food & beverage and consumer, and international education. 

The mission will be led by the relatively new Minister for Trade and Investment, Hon Steven Ciobo MP, sworn in only in February 2016, and it has been recently announced that Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull will also travel for the first time to China in April.

The mission is expected to be one of the biggest on record and at Fragomen, we have seen business becoming more engaged in exploring how ChAFTA can help them successfully grow their business.

Of note are the opportunities in services. While four fifths of the Australian economy is in services, only AU$6billion of the AUS$110 billion of goods exported to China in 2013 was in this sector.  The growing middle class in China is cherry ripe for Australian businesses willing and able to take the plunge into China in more diversified sectors beyond resources.  Health and aged care is one example where the growth in affluence of the middle class is expected to lead to increased demand for services in this area.

The Immigration framework to support growth

Immigration and visa compliance are fundamental considerations for businesses considering entry into either Australia or China where it is typical that key personnel are required to establish operations in that new market. Speed to market continues to be a key competitive differentiator, and as such, the importance of practical and commercially based immigration advice to allow you to plan is fundamental.

Two examples of challenges that we are supporting our clients with are:

  • Speed to deliver on contracts and establish operations

We find through talking to business that being able to quickly move staff from business visitor activities (which is usually at the exploration stage) to work visas to enable the business to start up and operate in the new market and/or to deliver on contracts is critical. This can be a challenging exercise, particularly where immigration criterion, processes and decision making can be more complex or take longer than what business might assume, and where applications by necessity, take time to prepare, file and be decided on.

  • A tougher immigration environment of decision making

In Australia, we have also been seeing practical shifts in the decision making environment, with the Department of Immigration placing more scrutiny on businesses (even where well established overseas) who are looking to enter and establish operations in Australia.  This includes increased scrutiny on the position and its genuine need in the Australian business.

If you are considering Australia or China as your new market, reach out to us to gain the proper advice you need to ensure you have the right people at the right time on the ground to make the most of these new commercial opportunities.  

To find out more about how Fragomen can help, please contact us.






2016年2月刚刚宣誓就职的澳大利亚贸易与投资部部长乔志文(Hon Steven Ciobo MP)阁下将携代表团参与各项活动。澳大利亚总理麦肯·腾博(Malcolm Turnbull)最近也宣布将于四月首次访华。






  • 迅速履行合同并建立公司


  • 出入境事务的决策环境更为严格


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