Australian blockchain sector eyes China

By Ma Jingjing in Deqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/17 21:30:04

Bilateral efforts can be meaningful to facilitate trade cooperation

2019 International Blockchain Conference Photo: Courtesy of Chinese Institute of Electronics

Australian blockchain representatives said they hoped their country can be a "key partner" of China, which is taking a leading role in the sector, by building an open global network while facilitating bilateral trade.

"Australia has some complementary strength in blockchain, which means we should be a good partner for China in thinking about establishing a global [blockchain] network," said Nick Giurietto, deputy chairman of the Australian National Blockchain Roadmap Advisory Committee.

"We're not the only one, but we should be a key partner," he told the Global Times on the sidelines of the International Blockchain Conference held in Deqing, East China's Zhejiang Province on Sunday.

Giurietto came to China to help launch the Sino-Australia Blockchain Association to strengthen bilateral connections and cooperation in the sector.

Giurietto listed several areas for potential cooperation, including supply chain, regulation and education.

Many Chinese blockchain companies have done very significant work on supply, but most have been thinking about only the Chinese market, Giurietto, noting that "the opportunity is [for them] to expand to build global supply chains.

"Imagine that a consumer in Beijing can use a phone in a supermarket to check whether a baby milk is an authentic product that comes from Australia and whether it has been handled securely," he said.

"That's a dream we want to go to," Giurietto said, noting that "it will help us sell more Australian products to the Chinese market."

China is Australia's largest trading partner. Data from the General Administration of Customs of China showed that bilateral trade reached $140 billion in the first 10 months of this year, up 10.1 percent year-on-year.

During the conference, Hubert Chu, chief operating officer of Australian blockchain company UCOT Australia, told the Global Times that the company has been expanding its business in China, attracted by the vast market and policy support.

UCOT Australia opened a research and commerce center in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, early this year. It has cooperated with domestic companies, including Osmun and COFCO.

Joanna Bunting, counselor of industry, innovation and science at the Australian Embassy to China, said at the same conference that the Australian Trade and Investment Commission supports bilateral communications among blockchain research institutions, businesses, service professionals and government representatives.

Amid growing protectionism in some countries as well as security concerns, it's more meaningful to adopt blockchain technology, according to Giurietto.

"The opportunities of an open market are good for everybody in the world, and blockchain could be used to create an open system with strong governance and high transparency. That can be trusted by every country equally and therefore security concerns one country or another might have can be solved through open networks," he said.

"We have strength in regulation, business models, market architecture and social license, where Australia can contribute to China's efforts in building international blockchain standards," he said.


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