Australia will likely begin negotiating a free trade pact with China after a feasibility study is complete, Australia's prime minister, John Howard, said. The study will determine if a China-Australia trade accord would benefit both countries. Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile was in Beijing to discuss issues raised in the study and said that by the terms of FTAs, Australia would recognize China as a market economy when negotiations begin. Howard is expected to formally launch the talks when he visits Beijing in April.
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