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China our boom partner

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  • China our boom partner

    China land of milk and honey? Its booming!


    CHINA'S rise as a manufacturing powerhouse will provide a multi-billion-dollar bonanza for Australia's mine and farm exports, and boost the rest of Asia.

    A report by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says China's growth will bring huge benefits to the economies of its Asian neighbours and Australia.
    The DFAT report, released yesterday, predicts China - the world's sixth-largest economy, which has more than doubled its exports from $US150 billion ($212 billion) to $US325billion since 1996 - will have growing demand for the exports in which Australia is strong.

    Commodities including copper, iron ore, alumina, natural gas, wool, barley and canola will be required to supply Chinese industry.

    Australian consumers will benefit from cheap Chinese exports in goods such as computers, clothing and footwear, video and digital cameras, mobile phones and sporting items.

    China's GDP is predicted to overtake that of Germany by 2010 and to rival Japan's by 2030, with growth in demand for agriculture commodities to grow by an average 15 per cent and minerals and energy imports by 13.5 per cent a year to 2010.

    "China increasingly will demand Australian raw materials, particularly minerals and energy," the DFAT report says.

    Launching the report, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said two-way merchandise trade between Australia and China had reached $22 billion annually, while two-way investment was now growing by 20 per cent a year.

    The DFAT report came as the Howard Government refused to rule out changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in the free trade agreement being negotiated with the United States.

    The Australian Medical Association and the federal Opposition united yesterday in calls to the Government not to make any PBS concessions as part of a trade deal with the US.

    But Defence Minister Robert Hill, representing Trade Minister Mark Vaile in the Senate, stopped short of ruling out changes to the PBS, and instead reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the scheme's goals.