China Weighs Lifting Tariffs on Australian Wine Imports: Business Lobby Optimistic

Business Chief Predicts China is on the Verge of Removing Tariffs on Australian Wine

According to a business lobby, the Chinese government is considering lifting heavy tariffs on Australian wine imports. This was revealed during a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and business leaders hosted by the Australia China Business Council. During the meeting, Wang emphasized that China was “opening up” to foreign investment.

David Olsson, the National President of the lobby group, expressed his optimism about this development in an interview with Bloomberg at the Boao Forum in China. He noted that while Australian businesses value the Chinese market, they are concerned about the unpredictability and uncertainty, especially when it comes to long-term investments. However, he acknowledged that geopolitical issues will continue to influence relations between Australia and China.

Economic ties between Australia and China have been improving since the Labor government took office in May 2022, with Beijing gradually lifting trade sanctions imposed on Australian exports during the peak of tensions. Despite this progress, the heaviest remaining sanctions are on Australian wine, with tariffs reaching as high as 218%. However, Olsson expressed optimism that these tariffs will be removed by the end of March.

If this happens, a significant amount of Australian wine will be able to re-enter the Chinese market once again. However, not all of it will return. Many producers are also looking to diversify and explore other markets to reduce their dependence on China. Overall, while there is hope that economic ties between Australia and China will continue to improve in the future, there is also an expectation that relationships will remain complex due to ongoing geopolitical tensions shaping their economic interactions.

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