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Australia on the new Silk Road - a new pathway to prosperity

Monday, June 29 2015

The past week has been momentous in a number of ways – Australia is well poised to benefit from a winning trifecta of reform and policy initiatives that have the potential to offer long lasting economic, strategic and cultural values.
In Aussie parlance – we are holding a winning trifecta ticket given the recently announced China Free Trade Agreement, the White Paper for the Development of Northern Australia and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century.
By now, readers would be aware of the first two announcements, while the new Silk Road was declared by Chinese President Jinping Xi on his last visit to Australia as a major initiative of the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. To this end, the Chinese government has actively promoted forging closer ties with the countries along the two silk roads in terms of policy, communication, infrastructure, and investments in our people through employment and education.


In effect, the southern links for the Maritime Silk Road are Hong Kong, Jakarta and Darwin.


As identified in his presentation nation to the NT Minister Styles stated that “Darwin is strategically located at the crossroads of Australia as on of the strongest developed economies in the world and a major source of food and energy commodities” The ancient Maritime Silk Road grew during the Qiin and Han dynasties in 200Bc and matured over the centuries as an immense all-accessible transportation network from Africa to Europe and to Asia. It was interesting that in his presentation, Minister Styles had evidence of Darwin’s engagement in this traffic, with an image of a relic of Chinese antiquity in a small statue found locally entwined in the roots of a Banyan tree.


Minister Styles, on behalf of the NAB and the Australia China Business Council, launched The 2014 Australia-China Trade Report Analysis at an NT Promotion Forum attended by companies participating in the Guangzhou International Finance Expo. 


To state that interest in investing in Australia by the Chinese and Singaporeans is high would be an understatement.  Our challenge is to identify the possibilities and outline the investment – the rest will follow.  As with any winning ticket, if you don’t cash it in, you don’t reap the rewards.
Indeed, it is time to step up to the winner’s window.


Early days but accolades to the NT Government for coordinating a focussed and timely mission to Asia that has already generated enormous interest to date from officials, industry and financiers in Singapore and Guangzhou. The delegation moves south today to Hong Kong and then to Kuala Lumpur before returning to Australia on Wednesday. 

ACPET is represented on the delegation by NT Executive Officer Michael Hall

 


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