Australia and China have agreed to speed up work on a free trade agreement, and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he is confident that progress will be made, AFP reported. The two countries began talks on an FTA more than three years ago, but discussions stalled until April this year. Rudd and Chinese President Hu Jintao met in Washington following the weekend G20 talks on the global economic crisis. According to Rudd, China is interested in the Australian market in terms of long-term access to energy and raw materials, while Australia wants greater access to China’s market in goods and services. Hu said the global economic situation presents an opportunity for the two countries to deepen their bilateral cooperation. China is already Australia’s largest trading partner.
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