Interview: Ties with China knitting well -- former premier of Australian NSW

08:28, July 08, 2011      

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Before the newly elected New South Wales (NSW) premier leads a business delegation to China in the coming weeks, former NSW Premier Bob Carr said in an interview with Xinhua that the state's ties with China are knitting well in many areas.

Carr, the longest continuously serving premier in NSW history, noted that NSW's ties with China are knitting well in terms of scientific and technical services, manufacturing industry and arts and recreation services.

For example, Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige was last month president of the Jury at the Sydney film festival, which saw the release of 33 Postcards, director Pauline Chen's first Chinese- Australian collaboration.

Home to over seven million population, NSW has approximately 290,000 Chinese people.

"NSW marks the largest Chinese community in Australia. Apart from English, the Chinese language is the most spoken language in NSW," Carr said.

In illustrating NSW's economic perspective, Carr said, "The NSW economy has solid foundations. NSW's financial services industry is critical - it represents half the nation's entire sector output. "

He especially mentioned Sydney city. "Sydney, for example, alone accounts for nearly a quarter of Australia's gross domestic product."

"Sydney is the regional center for banking and insurance, foreign exchange, equities, futures and managed funds and services to finance companies in the Asia Pacific. The list goes on."

These days the NSW economy despite its head start - continues to be the worst-performing in the nation and, according to some analysts, needs to urgently introduce initiatives to stimulate growth in housing construction, business investment and employment.

As for the great issues that dominate the headlines in the relations between Australia and China, Carr has been remaining rational and pragmatic.

"China will define the economic transformation that NSW needs to have," said Carr, added, "My view is simple: if it's a mutually beneficial proposition then the deal will be made."

Imports from China to NSW in 2010 were worth 18.4 billion AU dollars (19.6 U.S. dollars), while exports from NSW to China were worth over 3.1 billion AU dollars in the same financial year, consisting of minerals, fuel and oil, ores, wool and machinery.

Despite Western Australia's resource boom, NSW remains the traditional face of Australia's international engagement.

In 2009, two NSW Government Business Offices opened in China's Guangzhou and Shanghai, while more and more Chinese companies are initiating business in NSW, including Bank of China, China Southern Airlines and Huawei Technologies.

He believed China's future is promising. "The various experts have sounded of to the effect that China's economic resurgence is doomed by 2020. My friend Bob Hawke is right when he says China continues to defy all those doomsayers one after the other. I think there's an intelligence about its leadership and I'm sure they're planning for everything."

Source: Xinhua
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