The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

11 June 2008

NO.072

Treasurer to Speak on China and Australia's Economic Relationship

Today, I will address senior government and business officials, as well as China's next generation of leaders at the Central Party School in Beijing.

I will discuss China's role in the world economy, foreign investment, further trade opportunities between Australia and China, and the importance of working together to tackle global challenges, such as climate change, financial turbulence and high global oil and food prices.

Today, I will be honoured to meet His Excellency, Dr Li Ke Qiang, Vice Premier of the State Council, in the Great Hall of the People.

I will also meet with Mr Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, Mr Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor, People's Bank of China and Mr Zhang Zhijun, Vice Minister of the China Communist Party's International Department.

Tonight, I will attend a dinner hosted by CPA Australia, which will also be attended by their counterparts the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, to help build stronger relationships between these two organisations and support their mutual recognition negotiations.

Trade and investment with other countries are particularly important to Australia's prosperity and our economic relationship with China is one of our most important. This relationship has grown very strongly in recent years.

The impact of China's economic growth on the global economy has been immense. If not for China's rapid economic development, global growth over the past few years would not have been nearly as strong.

China has recently become Australia's largest trading partner, with total two-way trade reaching A$58 billion in 2007.

The rapid increase in bilateral trade has been mutually beneficial and has created enormous opportunities for both our countries to capitalise on their strengths. For example, Australia has been able to meet China's growing demand for natural resources such as iron ore and LNG - resources which are helping to build Chinese cities and infrastructure.

Australia welcomes foreign investment and the increased interest by China in investing in Australia. Foreign investment has played a key role in Australia's economy, including in developing the resources and energy sector.

We believe that our resources and energy sector should operate on a market basis and that investment and sales decisions should be driven by market forces.

It is also important for China and Australia to work together to achieve positive outcomes in regional forums.

The rise of China and East Asia more broadly has seen a growing sense of regional interdependence which has led to the creation of relatively new regional forums.

Australia is an active member of APEC and the East Asia Summit and places great importance on these forums.

By working together in these and other regional global forums, Australia and China can assist the world to meet global challenges with comprehensive, effective and fair global responses.

11 June 2008