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Putting political label on Chinese investors 'unfair'


08:13, October 17, 2012

Perth, Australia - China's top envoy in Australia has told a massive audience of business leaders that Australia should further improve the investment environment for Chinese investors.

At a dinner organized by Australia China Business Council (ACBC) in Perth, Ambassador Chen Yuming said "Chinese investors, whether they are state-owned or private enterprises, are all business entities in pursuit of profit. They look across the world for investment targets that are low cost, high quality and with a good environment. To put a political label on them is unfair."

"Chinese investors hope for a good investment environment in Australia. Investors always vote with their feet," Chen added.

The ambassador also calls on the two countries, especially Australia, to pay more efforts to further strengthen the bilateral communication.

"Some people say China understands Australia more than Australia understands China. I share the same feeling. It is important to be willing to lean over and really learn about and understand a China that is friendly, modest and pragmatic," Chen said.

Chen said he believes that the "China-boom" transforming the state of Western Australia will continue to drive prosperity in Australia for years to come.

He said, "China's economy has structural drivers for long term and stable growth. China's urbanization will continue at an annual rate of 0.8 percent. On-going industrialization, application of information technology and agricultural modernization will continue to unlock great potential of development and enormous consumption demand."

The ambassador described the key word in his speech as "development". Chen said "In the past 63 years, great changes have taken place in China. Its economic size increased by 110 times and per capita income up by 230 times. GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 9.9 percent in the past three decades, and external trade in 2011 was 3,100 times more than that of 1950."

The effect of this growth on Australia and in particular Western Australia has been profound indeed.

Duncan Calder, President of ACBC Western Australia, told Xinhua that Western Australia provides 72 percent of Australia's exports to China; and some 80 percent of investment by China's SOEs in Australia is in Western Australia.

"Perth is traveling very well there's no doubt it has been insulated by the GFC; by the growth of China; by Chinese demand for what we produce so China has been terrifically beneficial to Western Australia," he said.

Despite mixed signals out of Canberra on foreign investment, China's top envoy reassured business leaders that China would continue to play a leading role in both Australia's economic future and bilateral ties.

"China and Australia enjoy strong complementarity in economic and trade relations, and the key to its success is mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. Demand and investments from China have driven a boom in Australia's mining and other sectors, pushing per capita income up 30 percent," Ambassador Chen Yuming said.

China remains Australia's largest trading partner. Merchandise exports from Western Australia, which holds over 97 percent of Australia's massive iron ore deposits, to China are $47 billion, about half of the total exports from the United States to China.

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