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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Australia, China sign MOU on infrastructure cooperation

(Xinhua)

14:20, April 10, 2012

CANBERRA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming signs Tuesday an Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to increase infrastructure construction at Parliament House.

The MOU is called the Memorandum of Understanding on Enhancing Cooperation in Infrastructure Construction between China and Australia.

The agreement includes closer cooperation 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.

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

A statement from Anthony Albanese office, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport who signed the document with Chen Deming on Tuesday said, "Ultimately, this is about creating more jobs, tapping more economic opportunities, and delivering better infrastructure."

According to Australian official statistics, Australia's total trade with China has exceeded 105 billion dollars (109 billion U.S. dollars), making China the first nation in terms of two-way trade that has gone past the 100 billion dollars (104 billion U.S. dollars) mark.

China is Australia's largest trading partner and largest export market, and the biggest source of imports of Australia.

Australia's investment in China, including in Chinese infrastructure, was almost 12 billion dollars (12.48 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010, up more than six-fold since 2001. Similarly, China's investment in the Australian economy was nearly 20 billion dollars (20.8 billion U.S. dollars), up from 3 billion dollars (3. 12 billion U.S. dollars) in 2001.

Albanese says he welcomes Minister Chen's visit to Australian shores and look forward to working closely with him in delivering greater prosperity for the two nations.

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