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”.
Weighing the risks for Australia as China rebalances
China’s leaders have been vocal in their support of a new growth model, one where consumption leads the way. Economic commentators fret about what this means for Australia.
One view is that economic pain lies ahead. As the rate of resources and energy-hungry investment in China falls, commodities such as iron ore and coal will not fetch anything like the prices they did a few years ago. Investment in the natural resources sector will dry up.
GEOFF RABY IN CONVERSATION WITH BOB CARR
Deep reforms to push the Chinese economy from investment to consumption are taking hold as private business and investment begin to expand.
On June 22 2015 Dr Geoff Raby, in conversation with Professor the Hon Bob Carr, ACRI Director, discussed China's future economic prospects and how these would affect Australia’s medium term economic prospects.
Dr Raby was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 2002 to 2006 and Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007-2011.
Professor Yiping Huang - Seminar
On Tuesday April 14 ACRI held an informal discussion with visiting Professor Yiping Huang from Peking University.
Professor Huang joined ACRI Director Bob Carr and engaged with staff and students from the University of Technology, Sydney. Professor Huang explored the implications of China's 'new normal' growth rate for Australia’s economy and identified the key opportunities facing Australia-China economic relations.
The seminar took place at the UTS Business School in the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.