Exporters in Australia Are Advised to Diversify Their Trade From China, Their Top Trade Partner

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Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong has urged exporters to diversify their markets to become less reliant on China, citing the nation’s inability to separate economic and strategic relationships with its top trade partner. 

Australia and China have reached a breakthrough in the long-running dispute over barley, with both nations announcing on Tuesday that they had agreed to end the trade dispute.

Australia, pushing for better access to Chinese markets for its barley exports, has suspended its case at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Wong said, “Ensuring we diversify our export markets is an important part of our national resilience.”

“The government will continue encouraging that because we want to ensure diversified export markets.”

Trade between Australia and China is worth A$285 billion annually, making it Australia’s largest two-way trading partner. In 2020, Beijing impeded Australian commodity exports, including beef, wine and barley. 

Wong emphasised that the recent trade dispute should not be seen as a sign of deteriorating relations between Australia and China.

Wong said that Australia had moments of difficulty, but it has always pulled through and continued to maximise the opportunities for both countries.

Ma Zhaoxu, China’s executive vice minister of foreign affairs, and Jan Adams, the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, held talks in Canberra on Wednesday.

The two sides discussed several issues relating to the bilateral relationship between their respective countries. The talks come following the recent breakthrough in the dispute over barley exports between Australia and China. It is hoped that the resolution of this trade dispute will benefit both countries, with China now allowing limited access to its market for Australian barley exporters.

The Foreign Minister noted that while China is an important economic partner, it is also essential to diversify markets to maintain national resilience with other potential markets worldwide.

Australian exporters are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities by exploring new markets and diversifying their customer base away from relying solely on China. By reducing reliance on China and exploring new markets worldwide, Australian exporters can ensure their continued success even if international relations prove difficult.

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