As two influential countries in Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia are strongly complementary to each other in industrial economy and share extensive common interests. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia 45 years ago, their bilateral trade and economic cooperation has made great achievements and benefited the enterprises and people of both sides.
In the past 45 years, the bilateral trade and economic cooperation mechanism has been perfected gradually. A series of mechanisms have provided widespread platforms for win-win cooperation such as China-Australia Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, China-Australia CEO Roundtable Meeting, China-Australia Ministerial Commission on Economy, China-Australia High-Level Economic Cooperation Dialogue, China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, and China-Australia Service Trade Promotion Forum, etc.
Trade in goods grew rapidly.
The Australia-China trade value was only US$86 million when the diplomatic relations were established and it reached US$107.8 billion in 2016, with a size growth of 1252 times. In the first two months of 2017, the bilateral trade value increased 47.2%, of which China’s imports from Australia grew 77.6%. China has been Australia’s largest trading partner, largest export market and largest import source since 2009. In 2016, Australia’s trade with China accounted for nearly one third of Australia’s total trade.
Trade structure was constantly optimized.
China’s imports from Australia have extended from single grain to mineral resources and bio-pharmacy. In 2016, China’s imports of iron ore from Australia took up 61.6% of China’s total imports of iron ore, and that of coal 48.3% and that of liquefied natural gas 41.9%; China’s imports of wool from Australia accounted for 69.7% of the total, barley 61.3% and wheat 40.4%. China’s exports to Australia have extended from low added-value products to computer, communications and electronic equipment and home appliance. In 2016, Australia’s imports of toys and sports products from China took up 67% of its total imports, those of clothing 66%, those of computer 64.2% and those of home appliance 63.7%.
Trade in service became more active.
The bilateral trade in service has started from zero and now it has covered widespread areas of tourism, education, finance and insurance, transport, consulting and architecture design. According to the statistics by Australia, the total imports and exports value of bilateral trade in service in 2015/16 registered AUD13.3 billion, of which AUD10.7 billion was Australia’s exports to China, up 21.3%, taking up 15.6% of Australia’s total service exports. Australia’s imports from China reached AUD2.6 billion, up 15%. China has become Australia’s largest service export market. Both China and Australia have become a popular tourist destination to each other. In 2016, the number of personnel exchange reached 2 million, among which 1.2 million were Chinese visitors to Australia. The consumption value of Chinese visitors in Australia amounted to AUD8.9 billion in 2015/16, up 27% year on year and China has become Australia’s largest source of overseas students. The two sides jointly held “China-Australia Year of Tourism” in 2017. As Australia’s largest source of overseas students, Chinese students in Australia took up nearly one third of the international students registered in Australia. China’s six large banks have set up branches or offices in Australia and Australia’s four large banks have business in China.
Both quality and efficiency of two-way investment increased.
Since China established the first joint venture in Australia in 1986, China’s investment in Australia has sustained development over 30 years. Australia is China’s third largest destination of overseas investment following Hong Kong and the US. China’s investment in Australia tends to be more diversified, covering mining, real estate, finance, lease, commercial service, manufacturing, retailing and agriculture areas. According to the statistics by Australia, by 2015, Australia’s assimilation of Chinese investment had totaled AUD74.9 billion, among these, AUD35.17 billion was FDI stock. China is Australia’s fifth largest source of FDI. According to the statistics by China, China’s non-financial FDI in Australia grew up 56.1% in 2016. China’s investment has become an engine to promote the prosperity development of Australia’s economy, lifting Australia’s employment, taxation and economic growth, and improving the experience for international development of Chinese business.
According to the statistics by China, by the end of 2016, the number of Australia-funded enterprises in China amounted to 11,000, with an actual input of US$8.32 billion. In terms of the actual input value, Australia is China’s tenth largest source of investment. Investigation by Australia shows that one sixth of Australia’s manufacturing enterprises have conducted business in China, and one eighth established offices in China. Over the past 30 years, Australia has brought China with the latest technology, business experience and management ideas and has also promoted China’s domestic development of manufacturing and service industry.