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Albanese optimistic on Chinese trade sanctions

The services sector has reported an uptick in input costs, including labour, shipping, and fuel.

The services sector has reported an uptick in input costs, including labour, shipping, and fuel. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he’s still hopeful of clearing Chinese trade sanctions on Australian goods, despite Beijing being critical of his announcement to acquire nuclear submarines.

Assistant Trade Minister Tim Ayres will travel to China on Tuesday to discuss clean energy and trade.

It paves the way for Trade Minister Don Farrell to visit China after he accepted an invitation from his Chinese counterpart.

Mr Albanese said it was important to keep dialogue channels open.

“There have been some changes to the impediments that were there in our trade already so there is progress,” he said.

“It’s a good thing that governments are talking. Dialogue is always a positive thing to occur in our region and throughout the world.”

Senator Ayres will travel to China for this year’s Bo’ao Forum for Asia dialogue, leading a business delegation that includes mining billionaire Andrew Forrest and Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Tim Ford.

He says while there won’t be any big developments in the next few days, it was an important opportunity to extend that dialogue.

He said conversations at both a ministerial level and between businesses were good for investment across the region.

“(I) will set out Australia’s approach to becoming a renewable energy superpower and our approach on emissions, which offers enormous opportunity for business, for development, for investment in the Australian economy,” he told AAP.

Senator Farrell held a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart last month and Foreign Minister Penny Wong visited Beijing in December.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will also jet off on a separate trip to China this week.

China maintains trade sanctions worth $20 billion on exports.

China has staunchly opposed Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS alliance with the US and UK.

Senator Ayres said the announcement was unlikely to affect discussions.

“The AUKUS arrangements have been absolutely clear now for 18 months,” he said.

“I don’t think the announcement a few weeks ago … would have been a surprise to anybody.”

-AAP

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