For Australia, China ‘important’ trade partner

According to a senior government source, China is still a “essential trading partner” for Australia despite challenges including supply-chain interruptions and Covid lockdowns.

It has such a vast economy. The idea that this importance will drastically decline will be almost unthinkable, according to Elizabeth Bowes of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She brought up the fact that Australia’s exports to China are greater than they were at the same time last year during a panel discussion hosted by the Asia Society in Melbourne. This follows a record two-way commerce of A$282 billion ($178 billion) in 2021.

Australia has benefited from Russia’s war on Ukraine, which is extremely unique. The invasion caused a shortage of commodities, which drove up the price of coal and liquefied natural gas and gave the resource-rich economy a bonanza.

Economic challenges in China, the only nation in the world still pursuing a Covid-Zero strategy, as well as the continuing impasse over trade restrictions and tariffs on Australian exports, cast a shadow on that run.

At the height of the epidemic in 2020, relations between the two nations reached an all-time low when Australia demanded an impartial investigation into the Covid-19 virus’s origins in China. Beijing promptly reacted by enforcing severe trade measures against Australian products like coal, barley, lobsters, and wine.

These considerations have brought to light the dangers of market concentration and the value of a variety of markets, products, and services that Australia exports and imports, according to Bowes. “We intend to deliver new contracts. That is a very important tenet of the government’s aim for trade diversification.

Australia and Singapore recently launched a new green economy trade agreement with a focus on environmentally friendly maritime lanes and sustainable agriculture.

On the same panel, Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, noted that this “may be a model for extended agreements in the vital issue of environment for the future.”

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