The Australia-China Economic Relationship


1. The annual value of Australia’s goods1 and services2 exports to China is $108 billion. This is –

2.1 times that to Japan

6.7 times that to the U.S.

10.5 times that to India


2. The value of Australia’s goods and services exports to China increased by $64 billion in the past five years. Exports to –

India fell by $8.1 billion

Japan fell by $4.7 billion

The banquet has only just begun for Queensland


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in The Courier Mail, November 19 2014.

The world leader most important to Queensland has just left the building. And it wasn’t Barack Obama or Shinzo Abe. Chinese President, Xi Jinping, thanks for stopping by.

When China overtook Japan to become Australia’s largest customer for goods exports five years ago, Queensland remained a bastion of the old order. At the end of 2008, Queensland’s goods exports to Japan were five-and-a-half times the value of China. Those to Korea and India doubled China as well.

Australia-China free trade only a first step to real partnership


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in The Conversation on November 17 2014.

China’s third quarter figures beat expectations but fall short of a knockout


The global economy breathed a sigh of relief last month with the release of China’s third quarter growth numbers. The result of 7.3 per cent was down from 7.5 per cent in the previous quarter but came in a touch above consensus forecasts. The result was sufficiently robust for worries about a hard landing to retreat significantly.

Abbot’s awkward APEC moment over Asian infrastructure bank


Forget shirt-fronting Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most challenging task this week will be breaking an uncomfortable silence with Chinese President Xi Jinping. And he will have to do it twice: first at the APEC meeting in Beijing and again at the G20 in Brisbane.

After vigorous lobbying by the United States and Japan, Australia’s involvement in the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was scuttled by the National Security Committee of federal cabinet on strategic grounds.

Australian manufacturing must refocus on knowledge-based goods and not blame China for industry woes


With "Made in China" labels everywhere, the villain in the decline of Australian manufacturing appears easy to spot. But a closer look reveals that Chinese imports have been responsible for little of manufacturing's woes. Moreover, China is shaping up as a source of salvation in the future, and not in the way we may imagine.

Earlier this year, research by Professor Jeff Borland showed manufacturing employment in Australia has declined by about 400,000 since the early 1970s. Meanwhile China has emerged as a "factory to the world". Connecting the dots is close to irresistible.

Look to China’s productivity gains, not headline growth figures


China’s economy grew by 7.3% during the third quarter of 2014, meeting market expectations.

Polling by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal put the consensus forecast at 7.2-7.3%, the slowest pace in more than five years.

But to see where China is really headed, a closer look needs to be taken at its productivity.

Don’t blame Chinese buyers for Australia’s real estate boom


Last week I argued that blaming Chinese money for the worsening real estate affordability in Australia was off the mark (The property bubble myth that refuses to die, 14 October 2014).

Caution on the East China Sea


By Bob Carr

Note: This article appeared in The Australian Financial Review on October 16 2014.

As Australia’s Foreign Minister I had quoted several times an acute observation by Lee Kuan Yew. It was on the question of the future character of China. He said:

Zombie economics: the notion China is to blame for Australia’s property bubble refuses to die


Despite valiant efforts by commentators such as Bernard Keane and Michael Pascoe to slay claims that Chinese buyers are making it harder for ordinary Australians to enter the housing market, the
notion refuses to die. It is the “zombie idea” afflicting the Australia-China economic relationship.

And there is a danger the zombies will multiply. Last week the Australian Financial Review reported that China recently eased restrictions on outbound investment. The implication being “a fresh wave of capital [is] expected to make its way into the Australian property market”.