Economics

Chinese investment and Ausgrid

December

A decision by Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison on whether to approve the partial sale of NSW electricity distributor, Ausgrid, is expected shortly.

1. In March only three companies made the shortlist to buy a 50.4 percent share of NSW electricity distributor Ausgrid. All were Chinese. Since then one has dropped out leaving State Grid, a Chinese state-owned company, and Cheung Kong Infrastructure, a Chinese privately-owned company, as the only bidders.[1]

Chinese investment: Stay calm and ignore the defence hawks

December

By James Laurenceson

Note: This article originally appeared in the Lowy Interpreter, July 28 2016.

The lights are still on in Manila.

That must come as quite a surprise to defence hawks who like to beat the drum that the sale of New South Wales electricity distributor Ausgrid to a Chinese company could compromise our national security and be contrary to the national interest.

China’s debt challenge: stylised facts, drivers and policy implications

December

This paper begins by showing that even after conditioning for factors that might justifiably lead to a country having relatively high leverage, China remains a debt outlier. In this sense China can be regarded as over-leveraged and its debt may present a potential risk to growth and financial stability. The corporate sector is central to China’s debt story, accounting for two-thirds of the total. The corporate sector has also been mostly responsible for China’s leverage cycles, including the leveraging up since 2008 and an earlier deleveraging phase starting in 2003.

BREXIT and the Australia-China Economic Relationship

December

1. In 2015 the value of Australia’s goods and services exports to the UK stood at $8.8bn and $23.5bn to the EU as a whole. This compares with $91.3bn to China.[1]

2. Over the past decade the value of Australia’s goods and services exports to the UK fell by $0.6bn, while they increased by $0.4bn to the EU as a whole. This compares with an increase of $71.1bn to China.[2]

Don't believe Chinese worker Free Trade Agreement scaremongering

December

By James Laurenceson

Note: This article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review, June 9 2016.

Remember those claims from some trade unions last year that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) would allow Chinese companies to bring in their own workers?

The Queensland-China Economic Relationship

December

1. The annual value of Queensland’s goods exports to China is $11.6 billion.[1],[2] This compares with –

- $8.1 billion to Japan

- $6.0 billion to Korea

- $5.3 billion to India

2. The annual value of Queensland’s goods exports to China has increased by $4.9 billion over the past five years.[3] Exports to –

- Japan fell by $3.2 billion

- Korea increased by $0.1 billion

GROWING PAINS OF THE CHINESE RENMINBI

December

Few have the insight into the Chinese economy of Dr Guonan Ma. Educated in China and the US, Dr Ma is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Australia-China Relations Institute at UTS and a non-resident scholar at Bruegel, an economic think tank based in Belgium. Dr Ma served as senior economist at the Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific of the Bank for International Settlements for 14 years. Prior to this he was Chief North Asia Economist for investment banks Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Bankers Trust.


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December
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What the Australian public really think about Chinese investment in our maritime ports

December

China’s slowing growth rate is not the hard landing feared

December

By James Laurenceson

Note: This article originally appeared in the Higher View Business magazine, April 2016.

Pick up any major Australian newspaper these days and the business section is sure to be filled with coverage of the latest economic developments in China.

Australia’s fixation with China is justified. 

In 2014-15, Australia’s bilateral trade with China stood at $A149.8bn. That’s more than double the value of trade with Japan, Australia’s second-largest trading partner.

ACRI working paper: Chinese investment in critical infrastructure: much ado about not much?

December

Defence hawks have cited the Northern Territory Government’s decision to lease Port of Darwin to Shandong Landbridge Group in 2015 as reason to call for changes in Australia’s foreign investment approvals regime that would restrict Chinese investment in critical infrastructure assets on security grounds. They have also claimed the support of public opinion. This paper begins by reviewing the security debate around the Darwin Port sale and highlights that the alleged risks raised by critics of the deal have been downplayed by academic experts and leading defence and intelligence figures.