Australia’s relationship with China – What does the future hold?

On Friday 29 May AustCham China held a webinar with H.E. Mr. Graham Fletcher, Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, supported by Daniel Boyer, General Manager Greater China, Minister (Commercial) at Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade); and Deanna Easton, Counsellor (Economic)

Key takeaways

Mr Fletcher provided update on the Australia-China bilateral relationship, as well as a summary of the current COVID-19 situation both in Australia and China.

Mr Fletcher noted Australia is remaining patient and looking forward to resuming a more constructive relationship with China in which our differences are managed rather than front and centre.

Ms Easton provided a detailed update on the economic impact of COVID-19 on China’s economy, along with a summary of China’s “Two Sessions” and what this means for Australian trade and investment. Ms Easton brought attention to significant measures in China’s work report such as raising 1 trillion RMB in special treasury bonds for the COVID-19 response. The central government will also increase its spending on infrastructure which Ms Easton expects will drive demand for Australian commodities.

Mr Boyer gave a rundown on airfreight, logistics, and current consumer trends. The speed of Australia’s recovery will rely on the ability to trade freely and openly with the world. With Industries such as education, seafood and tourism struggling, other Australian resources are holding well in China and globally. Covid-19 has been a reminder of the value of having a diversified trading base and an agile economy with over reliance on one product or one market being dangerous. Mr Boyer concluded by noting the importance for companies to have a social media presence, with it now being inextricably linked to e-commerce.