Australia-China trade deal worth $82 billion: study

Canberra, April 19 | Updated: Apr 20 2005, 05:30am hrs
A free trade deal between China and Australia would generate an extra $82 billion in joint economic benefits over 10 years, a study found on Tuesday as Australia warned negotiations with China could take some time.

The joint analysis by trade officials from China and Australia was released after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Australian Prime Minister John Howard met in Beijing and agreed to kick start formal free trade negotiations.

Australia's business community welcomed the prospect of greater access to China's booming markets, but the trade union movement said a trade agreement could threaten Australian jobs.