By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – Australia’s Trade Minister Don Farrell will visit China in "the near future" as the two countries move to unwind “trade restrictions” imposed by Beijing.
China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and his Australian counterpart Don Farrell held a video meeting on Monday and Wang invited Farrell to visit Beijing.
Farrell said in a statement that he accepted an invitation from Wang to visit Beijing in the “near future” to continue the “productive dialogue.”
It was the first meeting between the two since 2019 as the relations between the two nations had spiraled down due to demand by Canberra for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
However, the relations have apparently stabilized since high-level meetings between President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Indonesia last November followed by the respective foreign ministers in Beijing.
Canberra has filed a case against Beijing over wine and barley tariffs at World Trade Organization. Beijing had also slowed down coal imports from Australia.
“China-Australia economic and trade ties are facing a key window; the two sides should inject more impetus into economic and trade cooperation,” Wang told Farrell during the virtual meeting.
“This meeting is an important step of our joint effort to bring bilateral economic and trade relations back to normalcy,” he said, adding China is “ready to restart an economic and trade exchange mechanism with Australia, and expand cooperation in emerging areas such as new energy.”