There's strong potential for China and Australia to work together economically, as the latter is in great support of free trade and globalization, said Steven Ciobo, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
During the Australia National Press Club interview held on June 6th, Ciobo noted that despite the fact that China and Australia have differing opinions on certain matters, the two nations are communicating in a respectful way, mindful of each other’s sovereignty.
“China is our largest trading partner with $175 billion worth of two-way trade…The trade investment relationship we have with our major trading partner is broad and deep and the results illustrate that point time and time again,” said Ciobo.
Ciobo’s remarks come at a time when the signing of the China-Australian Free Trade Agreement has led to considerable growth in trade between the two nations, especially in wine, as Chinese demand has driven the value of Australian wine exports to a 10-year-high.
Speaking highly of Australia’s trade relations with China, Ciobo noted that the global growth in protectionism and economic nationalism since the Global Financial Crisis is the wrong choice, while his nation will stick to globalization and international cooperation.
“Today, one in five Australian workers have international trade to thank for their job,” noted Ciobo, who explained that while certain countries are building barriers, Australia is knocking them down, and the nation sees great potential to work together with China on projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative.
“I think that there is real opportunity for Australia to be able to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and for Australian businesses to also play their part. This manifests in a number of ways,” he added.