China, Australia can expand trade in emerging sectors due to development stages, complementarity: industry insiders
Published: Jan 10, 2024 10:53 PM
China Australia Photo: VCG

China Australia Photo: VCG

Australia and China stand a decent chance to expand bilateral trade in a number of emerging sectors including new-energy products and services trade, industry insiders said at a seminar held in Beijing on Wednesday.

Amid the thawing bilateral relationship following the visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to China in November, bilateral trade has opportunities to expand further in fields such as trade of new-energy equipment, tourism and education services, experts said at the "CIFTIS-Never-End Series" China Australia Business Forum: Converging Business Resources, Empower Economic Development.

Rob Donelly, general manager at Australian trade promotion agency Austrade, told the seminar that Australian and Chinese companies have extensive cooperation opportunities in many sectors but especially in services. He noted that bilateral trade has more than doubled in the nine years since a free trade agreement took effect in 2015.

Donelly noted that gradually stabilizing bilateral ties during the second half of 2023 would contribute to the development of bilateral trade and investment.

Alex Lu, a partner with EY China, said in addition to cooperation in the trade of commodities such as iron ore and coal, China and Australia are on the same frequency for the development of the new-energy sector and some sectors are demonstrating strong complementarity.

"Australia has an ambition to become the exporting center of green hydrogen in Asia, it has some natural endowments, but it also lacks some elements… elements that China can provide," Lu said.

A green hydrogen plant recently built in Australia harnessed alkaline electrolyzers, solar panels and battery packs sourced from Chinese suppliers, Lu said, noting that Australian clients could tap the cost advantage and reliable supply offered by Chinese companies.

By 2050, some 96-97 percent of Australia's total installed capacity will be new-energy sources, per research from EY.

Xie Yifang, China country manager for the University of Melbourne, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the university looks forward to enhancing its profile in China in 2024, noting that cross-disciplinary education offered by the university suits the demand of Chinese students well.

Exports of more Australian goods to China, such as barley, have resumed or will resume soon.

China's Ministry of Commerce said on November 30 that it would review anti-dumping and countervailing duties on wine from Australia, starting immediately, and will decide whether the punitive tariffs are necessary.

China-Australia bilateral trade maintained strong momentum in the first 11 months of 2023, rising 9.8 percent year-on-year to 1.464 trillion yuan ($210 billion), according to China's General Administration of Customs. Australian goods exports to China, its biggest trading partner, rose by 14.6 percent, maintaining monthly double-digit growth since February.

The seminar is a part of a series of programs of the China International Fair for Trade in Services, China's national-level trade fair held annually in Beijing to boost services trade.