Skip to content


Export to China

Access Australia's largest trading partner.

On this page

  • The benefits of exporting to China
  • Learn about opportunities across a number of industries
  • Find out about tariffs and taxes in China

Export overview

China is Australia's largest trading partner, with total trade in goods valued at $120.2 billion in 2011-12, $76.8 billion of exports and $43.4 billion of imports. Australian goods exports to China have grown a staggering 18.5% since 2011 and include iron ore, coal, crude petroleum and gold. Australian services exports to China were valued at $5.7 billion in 2011-2012, with education and tourism the major items.

China is Victoria’s largest export market for goods, with over 16% of all Victorian goods exports destined for China. In 2012 Victorian firms exported $3.64 billion worth of goods to China, an increase of over 3% compared to 2011. Major Victorian goods exports to China include wool, hides, milk and cream, live animals and edible products.

China is the largest source market for Victoria’s valuable international education sector and is also a key destination for Victorian urban systems and sustainable development services.

Opportunities across almost all industry sectors

The rapidly growing middle class in China continues to provide huge potential for Victorian exports. The goods and services in demand in the Chinese marketplace are well matched to Victorian business strengths, creating export opportunities for Victorian companies in the following areas:

  • food and beverage: as Asia’s second largest market by value, the demand for better quality, premium products is increasing
  • ICT: the market (software, hardware and IT services) is expected to grow at 15 per cent per year for the next five years
  • tourism expenditure: currently Victoria’s largest inbound market at $892 million in the year ending March 2012 with strong growth of 7.6% per annum in Chinese visitor numbers is predicted to 2020-21
  • biotechnology and nanotechnology: providing Victorian companies with access to one of the fastest growing markets for life sciences and healthcare products
  • urban population: predicted to grow by up to 20 million people per year, generating a multi-billion dollar building program that will require sustainable urbanisation technologies, products and services and urban planning
  • low emissions energy field: the Chinese Government has launched a plan to renovate 25 per cent of buildings in its medium-sized cities by 2020, and 10 per cent in its small cities
  • education: China is the largest source of international students in Victoria with 34,221 Chinese international student enrolments in Victoria, accounting for 30.9 per cent of all enrolments in Victoria in May 2012.

Tariffs taxes and regulation

China has a compound import tax system. The General Administration of Customs of China publishes an annual tariff schedule including HS codes, import tariff, import value-added tax (VAT) and import consumption tax rates. Import VAT is levied on almost all products, with most subject to a rate of 13 per cent or 17 per cent.

Import consumption taxes ranging from one per cent to 40 per cent are charged on a number of consumer goods, such as tobacco, liquor, cosmetics, jewellery, automobiles, high-end watches.

Victorian Government support

The Victorian Government supports local business to engage with China through its ongoing Access and Trade Mission program.