Australia and China ‘on track’ to sign free trade deal in 2014

<p>China and Australia could sign a bilateral free trade agreement within months.</p>

China and Australia are determined to sign a bilateral free trade agreement by the end of this year.

Australian trade and investment minister Andrew Robb said the deal with China was on track, and that 'both governments are determined to bring it to completion later this year,' the Economic Times reports.

He said after meeting with Xu Shaoshi, the chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission: "There is a negotiation, so anything can happen. But we're both confident and we went through in some detail what ground had to be covered, including agriculture," he added.

Asian stocks ended mostly higher today (June 24th) and Japan’s Nikkei hit a five-month high, edging up 0.1 per cent. 

The broader Topix index also gained 0.1 per cent.

However, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 per cent, weighed by banking stocks.

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