Australia-China relations go from strength to strength

Australia sees greater opportunities in trade and cultural exchange under the Belt and Road Initiative, Australian officials and experts said at a forum recently.

Australia sees greater opportunities in trade and cultural exchange under the Belt and Road Initiative, Australian officials and experts said at a forum recently.

Graeme Meehan, Australian Consul General in Shanghai, said China has been Australia’s largest export destination and trading partner, and that the exchange of education and tourism, as well as increased trade and investment are important elements in the China-Australia economic relationship.

“Since the two countries' free trade agreement took effect in 2015, Australia has served the demand of China’s growing middle class in financial services, agricultural products, and other consumer goods,” Meehan told the Australia-China Finance & Economic Forum hosted by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. 

“There will be greater room for growth and diversification of bilateral trade under the Belt and Road Initiative as the two countries are both committed to innovation and a knowledge-driven economy," he added.

Australia can contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative in areas including project construction and management, financial support, and professional services, Meehan said.

Jay Ning, investment director of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, said the strengths of China and Australia can complement each other.

More Chinese investment to Australia is expected in agricultural products and food, tourism infrastructure, resources and energy, advanced manufacturing, and infrastructure projects, Ning said.

Official data showed exports from Australia to China rose 41 percent year-on-year in the first six months of this year, while shipments from China to Australia rose 9.3 percent year-on-year.


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