China’s shoppers will shrug off market shudders


by James Laurenceson

Note: This article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review


China's stock markets have greeted 2016 with a bang. Or a pop might be a better description.

On Monday the China CSI 300 index plunged seven percent by 1.34pm, triggering an automatic close to the day's trading, almost 90 minutes earlier than scheduled.

China: an economy that’s still on track


China stock market opened 2016 with a seven percent collapse. But the story of the real economy hasn’t changed.

1. On the demand side of China’s economy, fixed asset investment continues to slow but consumption remains robust. 

- Retail sales grew at 10.6 percent (year-to-date) in November. [1]

- On-line sales grew 34.5 percent (ytd) in November. [2]

The Australian public’s preferences over foreign investment in agriculture


This Australia-China Relations Institute research in collaboration with academics in the University of Technology Sydney Business School estimates a model of how the Australian public’s preferences over foreign investment in agriculture are determined. The results show that the attributes of foreign investment of greatest concern to the public are not the same as those used by the foreign investment approvals regime to flag proposals for scrutiny.

The China factor in Australian and global equity markets


1. At the end of 2014 China’s holdings of equity securities abroad stood at $US161.3 billion.[1] This was up from zero in 2004 but compares with $US6.7 trillion for the US.[2]

2. China’s holdings of equity securities abroad are equal to 1.6 percent of its GDP.[3] This compares with 38.6 percent for the US. 

China and Australia’s agricultural sector


1. Australia’s agricultural exports to China reached $8.5 billion in 2014-15.[1] This compared with:

- $5.1 billion to the US

- $3.9 billion to Japan

- $3.3 billion to Indonesia

2. A Chinese government-owned company wanting to invest in Australia’s agricultural sector must obtain Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval, irrespective of the value of the proposed purchase.[2]

Labor finally puts China trade ahead of its squeaky wheels


by James Laurenceson

Note – this article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review


Getting there wasn't pretty, but Labor got their response to the China free trade agreement right in the end.

On Tuesday a modest list of safeguards for bringing in workers from overseas was tabled, which if accepted by the government will see the deal sail through Parliament with bipartisan support.

Australia needs a solid economic stance on China


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in Business Spectator on 13 October 2015 

Xenophobic, even racist: that’s the accusation being levelled at federal Labor in its handling of the China Free Trade Agreement.  

Two considerations have left them vulnerable to the charge. 

Malcolm Turnbull must push the China FTA deal through


By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in The Australian on 23 September 2015.  

A challenge the Turnbull government faces is to secure the safe passage of the China free trade agreement. 

The China FTA: all the facts and figures


1. Critics have called for mandatory labour market testing (LMT) with respect to the China FTA.

The China FTA - The State of Play


1.In August the IMF said that it expects China’s economy will be 44 percent bigger in 2020.[1]

In the past two years alone it has added spending worth more than Australia’s GDP.[2]