The Australian Government recently released the inaugural Resources, Energy and Tourism China Review. Here, AMMA workplace policy officer Luke Achterstraat outlines how the Australia-China story continues to be one of strong economic growth for both nations.
THE Review is a publication produced for the Australian Government by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) and Tourism Research Australia (TRA) and documents the relationship between Australia and China over the past three decades, particularly the growth of the resources, energy and tourism industries.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, and Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson said the BREE /TRA Review underscores China's importance as a trading partner.
"The change over the past thirty-years in the Australia-China trading relationship in the context of resources, energy and tourism has been staggering," Minister Ferguson said.
Despite a mild slowdown in economic growth, China will remain highly significant as both an energy customer and energy competitor to Australia.
As a customer, China's demand for Australian exports of mineral resources increased from A$0.2 billion in 1989–90, to A$49.9 billion in 2010–11. In volume terms, China accounted for around 69 per cent of Australian total exports of iron ore in 2010–11, compared to around six per cent in 1989–90. Over this period China's reliance on our exports of energy sources, such as metallurgical coal, has also increased significantly.
However, China remains as a serious competitor to Australia in the energy space. Despite the slowdown of economic growth, China is still the world's largest consumer of minerals. It is also the world's largest producer of coal, steel, cement, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, magnesium, tungsten, antimony mercury, rare earth, and fluorspar. The Chinese mining industry as a whole has about 80,000 state-owned mining companies and approximately 200,000 collectively-owned mines.
The repoort concludes that "The Australian Government is committed to maintaining the strong relationship between the two nations and will continue to implement initiatives to sustain this growth".
Access an electronic copy of the Resources, Energy and Tourism China Review here.