ACRI Opinion

Abbot’s awkward APEC moment over Asian infrastructure bank

December

By James Laurenceson

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.

ANZUS call to arms would fail the pub test

December

By Bob Carr

Note: This article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 14 2014.

In the East China Sea, where five islands are disputed between China and Japan, military aircraft could collide in the crowded skies. A ship could be sunk by accident. Roaming fishing fleets and cruise liners complicate the scenarios.

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

December

By James Laurenceson and Roy Green

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.

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

December

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

December

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

December

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

December

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

December

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.

Why we shouldn’t be so worried about China buying the farm

December

By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in Business Spectator on April 23 2015.

It must be the least known part of the Australia-China economic relationship. 

China’s required reserve ratio cut will nudge Australia along

December

By James Laurenceson

Note: This article appeared in The Conversation on April 22 2015.