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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
  • Victorian Government Support

Export overview

China is Australia's largest trading partner, with total trade in goods valued at over $138 billion in 2014/15, $81 billion of exports and $57 billion of imports. China accounted for 281.3 per cent of Australia’s goods and services exports – surpassing the combined value of exports to Japan, Korea, and the United States. China is Victoria’s number one two way trading partner and number one export destination. Two way merchandise trade between Victoria and China was valued at over $20.4 billion in 2014/15.

China is Victoria’s largest goods export market. Exports to China have increased by 30 per cent in the past four years, valued at $4.3 billion in 2014/2015.

It's also Victoria’s number one source of international students, contributing approximately 29 per cent of the total number of international students to Victoria. China is also Victoria’s number one market for international tourists with 490,000 Chinese overnight visitors for the year ending December 2015.

Opportunities across almost all industry sectors

China is the world’s second largest economy and a major source of global growth. Economists predict that by 2014 China will overtake the United States and become the world’s largest economy.

Rapid urbanisation will see an additional 200 million people added to China’s urban population by 2025. The impact of this urbanisation, when coupled with rising per capita GDP and increasing disposable incomes, will result in changing patterns of domestic consumption.

There are now more than 160 cities with populations over one million, and 14 cities with populations over five million. In addition to tier one cities, there are many tier two, tier three and tier four cities, particularly in Western China, that present real and increasing opportunities for Victorian industry. Many of these cities maintain double digit GDP growth. Estimates indicate that China’s middle class will exceed 50 per cent of the population by 2020.

China’s growing middle class together with rapid urbanisation will continue to fuel demand for services such as education, tourism, health care and urban design and planning. Higher disposable income will also lead to increased preferences for safe, clean food and beverages, particularly those high in protein.


China has become the largest e-commerce market in the world, overtaking the USA in 2013. There is an estimated 600 million internet users, and an estimated 350 million online shoppers.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and China E-Commerce Research Centre, online retail sales in China for 2014 reached 2.8 trillion RMB (A$568 billion), growth of 49.7 per cent compared to 2013 and accounted for around 10 per cent of all Chinese retail transactions.

China’s large and growing middle-class have become accustomed to making frequent e-commerce purchases. Furthermore, as in many longer-standing e-commerce markets, they are also developing brand awareness, an increasing proclivity to purchase high quality and/or individually satisfying products, and showing a commitment to brand loyalty and repeat business.

E-commerce is well-suited to smaller scale Victorian companies looking to enter the Chinese market without needing to invest in a traditional bricks and mortar presence. It offers the opportunity for a relatively straight-forward, fee-for-service, pathway to Chinese consumers.

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.

Use our Export Readiness Checklist (PDF 32.37 KB)PDF icon to see if you are ready to begin exporting

Victorian Government support

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

The Victorian Government undertakes its trade activities through the five Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBOs) in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong. These offices are able to provide in-market intelligence and support to Victorian companies wishing to export to the China.