Nature and Location:
China is a country located in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. China is the fourth largest country in the world behind Russia, Canada, and the United States.
Australia is a continent and a country in the Southern Hemisphere, lying to the south of Southeast Asia, which divides the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. The population of Australia is 23 million.
In 2009 China surpassed Japan to become Australia’s largest export market, the Australian and Chinese economies are strongly complementary. As a result, our trade and investment relationship is substantial and has developed well beyond its modest beginnings in the 1970s.
According to Australian statistics, two-way merchandise trade has grown from $113 million in 1973, just after the establishment of diplomatic relations, to $78.2 billion in 2009. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, with total trade (goods and services) in 2009 valued at $85.1 billion, an increase of 15.1 per cent over the previous year. Government and/or NGO Roles:
The Australian Government established the Australia-China Council (ACC) in 1978 to promote mutual understanding and foster people-to-people relations between Australia and China. The Chairperson is appointed by the Executive Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who also appoints the Board members. The function of the Council is to make recommendations to the Australian Government through the Minister for Foreign Affairs on strengthening the Australia-China relationship in ways that support Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests.
The Australia China Business Council (ACBC) is a membership-based, non-profit, non-governmental organisation comprising of a National Office, six Branches, and more than 1500 representatives from over 700 Australian companies who do business with China. Founded in 1973, ACBC actively promotes two-way trade and investment, and economic cooperation and understanding, between the business communities of Australia and China. ACBC plays an influential role as an advisor to the Australian Government on commercial relations with China. They are a strong supporter of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China to foster more competitive business in both nations.
Founded in Beijing in 1996, The China-Australia Chamber of Commerce’s (AustCham Beijing) overriding goal is to advance Australian Business in China. It functions to provide members with the information, resources and contacts they need to succeed in China. The Chamber maintains a good working relationship with the Australian Embassy and with the various Australian government departments in China. AustCham is a non-profit organization, which operates independently from government. It is funded entirely by their membership and Chamber activities. Together with their sister AustChams in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, they work to promote strong trade and investment links between Australia and China.
Treaties and Agreements- formal and/or informal:
On the 18th of April 2005, Australia and China agreed to commence negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following consideration of a joint FTA Feasibility Study. The study was completed in March 2005, and concluded that there would be significant economic benefits for both Australia and China through the negotiation of an FTA.
From April 2013, WESTPAC and ANZ banks will now be the first to directly trade Australian dollars into Chinese Yuan. Due to this fact, deepening of relationships between China and Australia, it signals deepening of trade connections and great opportunities for future growth.”
Advantages and Disadvantages to Australia of this link:
Employment will increase in exporting industries and workers will be displaced as import competing industries fold (close down) in the competitive environment. With free trade many jobs have been created in Australia, especially in manufacturing and service industries Consumers benefit in the domestic economy as they can now obtain a greater variety of goods and services. The increased competitions ensure goods and services, are supplied at the lowest prices. Disadvantages:
This can impact upon large numbers of workers, their families and local economies. Often it can be difficult for workers to find employment in growth industries and government assistance is necessary. This means that businesses, employees and consumers are more vulnerable to downturns in the economies of our trading partners. Future Direction of link:
Australia and China share a strong and rapidly growing trade and economic relationship. Further strengthening and deepening this relationship is a major priority for both countries, with both governments committed to sustaining the impressive trade and investment performance achieved in the past two decades. In that time, China has become Australia’s largest two-way trading partner and vital to Australia’s future economic prosperity.