Australia's Trade Minister Don Farrell is an optimistic sort of person

In an interview with Patricia Karvelas on ABC Radio National, Australia's Trade Minister Don Farrell said, "I'm an optimistic sort of person."

It was in the context of China-Australia relations.

Patricia Karvelas: Minister, in 2020 China placed restrictions and total bans on Australian products like rock lobster and barley and wine and coal. You've met – rather, you're yet to meet with your Chinese counterpart. But you have said that Beijing could be willing to come back to the table and lift some of those restrictions. How optimistic are you that that could actually happen soon?

Minister for Trade, Don Farrell: Look, I'm an optimistic sort of person, Patricia.

Patricia Karvelas: Is it just random optimism, though? Like just hoping? Or do you have some evidence for it?

Minister for Trade, Don Farrell: No, it's more than that. When I first took over the job of Trade Minister for Australia, I issued the olive branch to my Chinese equivalent. We weren't able to meet in Geneva, but on my return, I got a very warm letter from the Chinese Trade Minister, and I replied to him that we were willing to meet at any stage.

There had been some hope that we might have been able to do that on the edges of the G20 meeting in Bali a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately my schedule changed because of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and we had to reschedule parliament. And so, there wasn't an opportunity to do that.

But you might note that the Chinese Ambassador to Australia gave a speech to the Press Club a couple of weeks ago where he indicated I think quite positively that China is willing to sort out some of these issues by discussion.



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