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Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

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Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

2024-06-18 20:30 Last Updated At:22:27

The Australian business community is taking encouragement that China-Australia ties are moving in the right direction following the signing of new agreements between the two sides during Chinese Premier Li Qiang's official visit, according to Heidi Dugan, chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Li arrived in Adelaide on Saturday to start an official visit to Australia at the invitation of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, which marked the highest level visit by a senior Chinese official since 2017.

During his trip, Li said that bilateral relations have returned to the right track after overcoming twists and turns and Dugan believes this sends out positive signals to businesses on both sides.

"It just is that encouraging step that we're taking note of to recommit into the market and to really sort of sharpen the sword with the two markets," Dugan said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

The AustCham Shanghai chair also said that the removal of long-standing tariffs are a welcome move that will benefit both countries.

"The recovery of coal, cotton, barley has been very encouraging for us. And it's a step in the right direction. For any business in a foreign market what we look to is the support from that local government and also the consistency of that support. So, we're really confident that that will move in the right direction. And I think the thing that is really important to say is that the removal of these tariffs benefits both countries. And when we can find that win-win situation that benefits both countries, it's most likely to move in the right direction. So, we are all very hopeful," she said.

Li's trip came after Albanese traveled to China last November, which marked the first visit by an Australian prime minister to the country since 2016, and Dugan also noted the crucial role that greater dialogue has been playing in enabling the two sides to manage their differences and create new opportunities.

"I think the dialogue is where everything starts, and we've seen so many more delegations, interestingly, a lot from China going to Australia and then also the reciprocal of Australian companies coming to China. The more that happens, the more dialogue that happens, what we see is businesses improve, we overcome challenges, but also we see new opportunities. We're now seeing new opportunities in areas that are perhaps different from the agriculture, the food, the beverage, we're now seeing it in medical and especially also in green energy," Dugan said.

China has been Australia's largest trading partner, export market and import source for 15 consecutive years. Last year, bilateral trade in goods increased 4.1 percent year on year, while Australian investment in China increased 11.7 percent, highlighting the strong business connections between the two sides.

Another outcome of Li's trip came with the announcement that China will include Australia in the list of unilateral visa-free countries, a move which Dugan believes will facilitate travel for Australian businesspeople to China and help them better understand the Chinese market.

"What this means is that businesses can make decisions very quickly. They can act on them, they can come into the country. The more that we have senior leaders coming into China, the more they understand the market, the more they understand culture, but really it means they get the most up-to-date information. You can't get that if you're sitting back in Australia, you have to see it to believe it. And that's what we need, all the companies that are based here are just dying to get those businesspeople back in the market, so they can see for themselves everything that we've been saying: this is a great market, this is a great relationship, and we know that there's a future ahead of us," she said.

Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

Business community encouraged as China-Australia ties moving in right direction: business leader

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China's 2024 summer grain output hits record high

2024-07-15 11:55 Last Updated At:12:07

China achieved a bumper summer grain harvest in 2024, with the output reaching a record high of 149.78 million tons, up by 2.5 percent or nearly 3.63 million tons year on year, recent official data showed.

The ample yields of staple crops help bolster the country's food security, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The summer grain output per hectare reached 5,628 kilograms, an increase of 2.5 percent or 135.4 kilograms from last year. Notably, the wheat yield per hectare reached 5,986 kilograms, marking a 150-kilogram increase from 2023.

Currently, China has over 1 billion mu (about 66.67 million hectares) of high-standard farmland nationwide, effectively increasing grain yields per unit.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has launched a three-year plan aimed at enhancing the unit yield of wheat, along with a governmental fund of 1.6 billion yuan (about 220 million U.S. dollars) to support efforts in pest control, disease prevention, and heat resistance.

"We focus on addressing challenges in wheat planting process, including issues with plowing, sowing, management, and harvesting. By integrating fine varieties, key technologies, and advanced agricultural machinery, we've significantly increased unit yield of wheat over extensive regions. Henan Province has seen a rebound in wheat production, and major wheat-producing provinces like Shandong, Hebei, Jiangsu, and Anhui have achieved record-high yields per unit area," said Lyu Xiutao, deputy director of Department of Crop Production at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

China's 2024 summer grain output hits record high

China's 2024 summer grain output hits record high

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