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Kevin Rudd supports China/Australia trade

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Kevin Rudd supports China/Australia trade	 article image
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd spoke about the importance of trade between China and Australia at the Australia-China Forum yesterday. In a speech titled ‘40 years: The Australia China Relationship’, Rudd spoke about the continuing economic growth in both countries, and how the relationship between the two will continue to develop as, "Australia and China depend on each other." "We have both experienced strong growth over the past two decades," Rudd said. "China's growth has been phenomenal. But Australia, too, has had 19 years of uninterrupted growth. The rise of China and Australia simultaneously is no coincidence." With total trade between the two nations now reaching over $100 billion a year, Rudd spoke about Australian exports to China growing faster than imports. In particular, he mentioned wine exports to China, which have risen from just over $60 million in 2007-8 to $178 million in 2010-11. "There’s a growing Chinese thirst for Australian wine," Rudd said. In the wake of global financial turmoil, it is unsurprising that Rudd places more importance on the relationship between China and Australia over relationships with other nations, particularly the turbulent economies in Europe. "We have more at stake in China - and China has more at stake in Australia - than either country has with many other partners, " said Rudd. "Not New Zealand, not Canada, nor any European state. Our trade relationship with China is considerably larger than with the 27 countries of the European Union combined." With Rudd emphasising the co-dependence the two nations have on each other, he also highlighted the importance of working on mutual understanding. "Both of us have come to depend on the relationship, which makes it important that we keep asking ourselves hard questions about where it can be improved, and how we can work through stumbling blocks," Rudd said. "We are critical to each other - and have a lot to gain by working more closely together. China is our most important economic partner. And Australia is more important to China's economy than any other. Australia has become an integral engine for China's growth - just as China has become a dynamo driving our prosperity." The Australia-China Forum, aimed at opening up discussion between the two nations on topics including politics, economics, and furthering the diplomatic relations between each country, included delegates such as the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the National People's Congress, Li Zhaoxing.

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