Australia’s direct trade with China, its largest trading partner, has accounted for 5.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014, according to a report on bilateral trade presented in Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
When launching the report on Wednesday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said “the best days of the Australia-China relationship lie ahead of us”.
Commissioned by the Australia-China Business Council (ACBC), the report finds that the benefits to ordinary Australian households from trade with China have expanded in 2014 to reach 16,985 AU dollars ($13,372), a five fold increase since 2009.
Based on an exclusive business survey of more than 200 Australian ACBC member firms, case studies from different industries, and a new data source, the World Input-Output Database, this report demonstrates that, as in the preceding years of the resources investment boom, Australian governments, firms and households continue to benefit significantly and increasingly from Australia-China trade through growth in GDP, tax revenue, employment and real wages.
The report also finds that Australia’s trade with China as a share of total trade has risen from 8 per cent in 2003 to 23 per cent in 2013.
The survey points out to Australian businesses’ concerns over longer term challenges, such as the ability to deal in Chinese currency, the Renminbi and opening of industries for foreign participation.
The report says one in 58 Australian workplaces is involved in direct exports to China. Nearly 200,000 Australian jobs are sustained by direct exports to China. The three largest sectors are mining (72,000), hotels and restaurants (38,000), and agriculture (18,000).
Australian non-resources exports to China are growing in agriculture, manufacture and services. Twenty per cent of Australian non-resources exports go into Chinese final consumer markets.