April 11th, 2012

Australia and China Strengthen Cooperation on Infrastructure

Media Release

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

AA059/2012

10 April 2012

Today,  the Australian and Chinese governments signed an historic Memorandum of  Understanding to strengthen cooperation on delivering infrastructure for our  nations.

I  signed the MOU on Enhancing Cooperation in Infrastructure Construction with the  Chinese Minister of Commerce, Mr Chen Deming, at Parliament House this morning.

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The  MOU will mean closer co-operation on planning of projects, exchanging  information on investment opportunities and technical expertise, training and  education, joint conferences, as well as joint infrastructure projects in the  future.

Ultimately,  this is about creating more jobs, tapping more economic opportunities, and  delivering better infrastructure.

Both  governments will now also establish a Working Group with membership from  government departments and agencies, industry organisations and major financial  and business partners to help implement the commitments outlined in the MOU.

Next  year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and  the People’s Republic of China.

At  the time former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam reopened relations with China,  our two-way trade was $113 million.

Today,  Australia’s total trade with China exceeds $105 billion, making it the first  nation with whom our two-way trade has gone past the $100 billion mark.

China  is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner, our largest export market and  our biggest source of imports.

Our  investment in China, including in Chinese infrastructure was almost $12 billion  in 2010, up more than six-fold since 2001.   Similarly, China’s investment in the Australian economy was nearly $20  billion, up from $3 billion in 2001.

Over  nearly 40 years, our relationship has gone from strength to strength and  today’s MOU signing is yet another example of the depth of our co-operation.

I  welcome Minister Chen’s visit to our shores and look forward to working closely  with him in delivering greater prosperity for our two nations.

©  The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

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