Australia and China have signed new deals worth more than A$10 billion ($8.8 billion) mainly in the resources and energy sector as Australia saw Chinese investments helping it escape the world's worst recession in 2008-09.
Chinese vice president Xi Jinpeng on a five-day visit to Australia and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today witnessed the signing 10 accords mainly in the resources and energy sector, but also included telecommunications, training and a quarantine protocol for exporting apples from Tasmania to China.
Xi Jinping, tipped to become the next President of China, witnessed the signing of the accords in Canberra, along with the Mandarin-speaking Rudd, who said that his government has set aside about $30 million to sell Australia as a tourism destination to Chinese travellers.
China is Australia's largest trading partner, with two-way trade reaching A$85.1 billion last year, of which iron ore and natural gas comprise a majority of Australian exports. Australia expects the two-way trade to cross the $100-billion mark this year.
The accords signed today include:
- Facility agreement for $1.2 billion between Karara Mining Ltd and China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) to develop a proposed port and rail infrastructure at Oakajee in Western Australia.
- Memorandum of understanding on cooperation on project development of major long-term energy infrastructure in South Australia between the government of South Australia and China Development Bank (CDB).
- MoU on between Aquila Resources Ltd and CDB to develop and expand Aquila's coal and iron ore mining projects in the Pilbara in Western Australia.
- MoU between the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and The Australian National University on training, joint research and exchanges of personnel.
- A joint venture agreement between China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Arckaringa Energy Pty Ltd.
- Strategic partnership agreement between Telstra and ZTE, where Telstra will become a preferred telecommunications supplier to ZTE worldwide and ZTE will continue to supply Telstra's telecommunications equipment to support the construction of the LTE network in Hong Kong and also with ZTE handsets in Australia.
- Engineering and procurement contract cooperation agreement for China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd to provide procurement, engineering and design services to Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.
- Cooperation agreement between Resourcehouse Ltd, Export-Import Bank of China, Metallurgical Corporation of China and China Power Holdings to establish an $8-billion China First Coal Project involving the construction of a mine, a 476km railway to the port of Abbott Point near Bowen and the construction of a coal loading terminal.
- MoU between the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism of Australia and the National Energy Administration of the People's Republic of China on enhancing cooperation in the field of energy.
- Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the export of apples from the Tasmania in Australia, to China.