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Aust must push for more China investment: bureaucrat
11/07/2012 - Australia should encourage more Chinese investment in domestic industries and reap the benefits of its immense capital reserves, a top foreign affairs bureaucrat says. Colin Brinsden
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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Dennis Richardson told a conference that China is encouraging state-owned companies to seek investment opportunities abroad.
"We should take advantage of that. We have always needed foreign capital to help develop our industries and unlock our potential," Richardson told the Rebalancing and Sustaining Growth in China conference at the Australian National University in Canberra on Tuesday.
"Far from there being too much Chinese investment in Australia, there is not enough."
Richardson said investment from the US, UK, Japan and Europe over many decades had allowed Australia to expand and develop "iconic industries", such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
"Foreign investment creates Australian jobs, boosts household incomes, encourages innovation and new technologies," he added.
He said there was no evidence China was "buying up the family farm" in Australia, with official data showing the amount of foreign-owned farmland had grown from 5.9 per cent in 1984 to six per cent in 2010.
It also made sense for Australia to be more closely linked politically, strategically and economically with China, as its international role expanded.
"China's rebalancing, along with the growth in its middle class and continued urbanisation, is bringing opportunities to integrate and further diversify our economic relationship," Richardson said.
The chair of ANU's China economy program, Professor Ross Garnaut, said China is coming to the realisation it needed to rebalance its economy to sustain growth.
"This year, the story is one of an old-growth model that is running out of steam," he said.
ANU vice chancellor Ian Young said its progress would have impacts.
"China's success or failure will have a significant impact on the rest of the world," he said.
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Pat | 11/07/2012 11:57 1
No we shouldn't be pushing for more Chinese investment. Are you people THICK. Have a look at what the already own and/or control. They have slowly built up very strategic and important stakes in Australia. To the point where they are very much in a situation where they can and will manipulate our political opinions. They are generally good partners, and I'm happy to heve their help in Australia. BUT we need to diversify our partnerships, with countries that are more similar in economic outlooks and needs. Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore for example, and nuture further growth in our relationships with Japan and Korea. Stop chasing whoever is the biggest boy on the block,(ie USA/China). Grow up and act with consideration and proper long term planning. History shows that America is only a real ally when they want something, and then all their promises become an illusion when they've got what they want. China will always act in it's own interests. Grow up Australian pollies and start acting and planning for OUR interests. GROW A SET, show some leadership and strategic planning.
Kermit | 11/07/2012 12:42 2
Exactly Pat, Let's have some real leadership here and set the regulation to control foreign ownership to a maximum of 15%! As mentioned before Food will be a very valuable commodity in a couple years....Imagine buying grain from China grown on Australian soil with our infrastructure at their PRICE! Think about it, is this the country we are building for our children...HANDS OFF! Sell products not our LAND!
sylvia | 11/07/2012 13:33 3
Statistics can tell whatever story you want, eg growth from 5.9% to 6.0% of what? If this is 0.1% growth in the purchase of Australian land and if the land purchased is only prime farmland, then I would suggest that the actual percentage of prime farmland is significantly higher as most of Australia is arid land. So Australians will be left with the dustbowl, the Chinese will have the prime land and this Dennis Richardson will still be saying (it's only 6%). How much is Dennis being paid to spout this drivel (and who is paying him?)
John Maunder | 11/07/2012 14:47 4
Dennis Richardson quotes 6% foreign owned land as at 2010. Since then Shenhuwa who are coal miners have bought around 23 farms on the Liverpool Plains, the best farming country in the world.
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