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Minister for Resources plans bright new future with China

04 September, 2008

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has detailed Australia's strong relationship with China in a speech to the Australia-China Mining and Minerals Industry Dinner, hosted by Business Club Australia, in Beijing.

China is the largest single market for Australian iron ore, the second largest buyer of Australian copper, and the third largest destination for iron and steel. By value, around 20 per cent of Australia's 2006-07 mineral exports were bound for China – trade worth almost $14 billion.

The relationship also extends to cutting-edge research into low emission coal technology.

Minister Ferguson said: "The Australian and Chinese Governments established the Australia-China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology and we are involved in both the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and the Asia Pacific Partnership to develop low emission technologies. Australia is also benefiting from Chinese involvement in projects such as the proposed the HRL 400 MW Integrated Drying Gasification Cycle power station project in Victoria's Latrobe Valley.

"The Australian Government is contributing $500 million to support further development and demonstration of low emission coal technologies; $20 million of which will support work with China, and this will build on existing projects such as the pilot post combustion capture project at Gaobeidian power station.

"This relationship will be further enhanced at the upcoming Australia-China Climate Change Ministerial Dialogue to be held in Canberra later this year."

Minister Ferguson said the closeness of Australia's business relationship with China has significantly contributed to the success of Beijing's Olympic Games.

"Since the close of the Sydney Games, many Australian firms have been working with companies in China supplying design and architectural services for many of China's Olympic venues," he said. "Australian ingenuity helped bring Beijing's stunning Water Cube, the Olympic Village, and the 'bird's nest' main stadium to life."

Minister Ferguson also highlighted Chinese investment in Australia, currently worth a total of $6.2 billion, is growing, with applications for the financial year 2007-08 totalling $25 billion.

"With such massive investment on the drawing board, the next 10 years are certain to produce an even closer trade and business relationship between our two countries," Minister Ferguson said.

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