Australian Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says businesses within the country are aware of the need to diversify trade away from China amid increasing strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Frydenberg’s comments follow a speech he made last week, which called on Australian businesses to adopt a “China-plus” strategy that would build on the strength of existing trade relations with China, and other countries. will engage financially.
“I think the business community is waking up to the fact that they need to diversify their markets. They cannot put all their eggs in one basket, namely the China basket. That’s why I talk about China Plus. I do,” he told Sky News Australia on 12 September. “And it’s really businesses and governments that also encourage this diversification of markets and diversification of supply chains.
“There is a growing overlap between our economic policies and economic interests, and our national security policies and national security interests, and Australia has been targeted by China’s economic coercion, simply their reaction to barley, beef, coal and wine exports. See Australia.
“Today, our economy has been remarkably resilient, we have been able to find other markets, and it pays a higher quality and higher premium for Australian goods and services.”
Frydenberg also noted that Australia needs to be “realistic” about the challenges facing Australia-China relations.
Since April 2020, Australia has faced an ongoing trade coercion campaign from the CCP, when Foreign Minister Maris Payne called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19. The move was strongly rebuked by the Chinese ambassador to Canberra, Cheng Jinghe, who warned of possible action against Australia’s trading ties with China.
In the following months, the CCP implemented a series of restrictions, suspensions and regulatory hurdles focused on coal, alcohol, beef, barley, lobster, timber, lamb and cotton exports to the country.
Frydenberg says trade exports declined by $5.4 billion in the June quarter of this year. However, over the same period, “exports of those goods to the rest of the world have increased by $4.4 billion,” he told the Australian National University’s Crawford Leadership Forum on 6 September.
“In many ways, Australia is on the front lines of this new strategic competition,” Frydenberg said. “We have faced increasing pressure to compromise our core values.”
He also said that the CCP is a greater threat globally than the Soviet Union.
“During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was largely cut off from the rest of the world. It did not trade or invest much outside its sphere of influence,” Frydenberg said.
He noted that, in contrast, China’s share of global GDP will reach 18.8 percent in 2021 (compared to only 7.7 percent in 2001); As of 2019, it accounted for 13 percent of global exports, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
“About 130 countries now have China as their largest trading partner,” Frydenberg said. “This combination of economic weight, global integration and assertiveness presents new and important challenges for many countries around the world.”
Frydenberg’s speech follows comments made by former prime minister Tony Abbott, who recently visited India as a special trade envoy, calling on business leaders to show “character” and stay supply chain free from China. Called to ensure
“In my judgment, it should be the concern of every business to minimize the critical place Chinese intermediates have in our supply chains, lest they be rejected when they are most needed,” he said. Told Policy Exchange, a right-leaning think tank in the UK on July 28.
“This does not mean that, by and large, a business should minimize its costs and maximize its quality and returns to shareholders. But it can be one of those instances where the long-term natural interests of the short-term. Economic interests do not coincide, and where the character of our business leaders demands more than just business savvy.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times