Australia must focus on agribusiness cooperation with China

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Image courtesy of [jannoon028] \ FreeDigitalPhotos

Australia must look towards agriculture to pursue economic growth with China according to Chinese Consul General Wang Yiner.

Image courtesy of [jannoon028] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
Image courtesy of [jannoon028] \ FreeDigitalPhotos
Speaking at a business function on Wednesday night, Madam Yiner talked about the country’s potential to develop other economic ties with Chinese companies outside of the mining industry. Yiner acknowledged that the end of the iron ore boom has disappointed a lot of Australians but said the country should look past it.

“I have visited farms and agri-business companies on many occasions and have gained a better understanding of animal breeding and agriculture of Western Australia.”

“I have seen that the potential for agribusiness cooperation between China and Australia is great.”

Yiner said both countries should expand practical cooperation in animal husbandry, agriculture and in the service industry.

Australia China Business Council’s Duncan Calder says Chinese companies are looking to form joint ventures with Australian companies rather than buying farm land outright.

“I think as China pursues the China dream and Chinese people become wealthier, the middle class in China expands, then the appetite of the Chinese people also change,” he said.

Produce out of Western Australia will be much sought after because of Australia’s outstanding reputation. According to Calder, Chinese companies are very keen to secure arrangements with companies that can see them accessing food supply.

Australia will be seeing a lot more complicated structures in securing win-win outcomes. China may provide long term off take contracts or leasehold agreements into land or work in joint ventures with young Australian farmers to help them expand.

Calder said that it is getting harder for Australian mining companies to secure Chinese capital because of competition from Russia and Kazakhstan.

“I think we have to reconfigure the way we see China so they see Australia as the best place to invest.”