RICO HIZON: Australia’s State Minister Steve Ciobo is currently leading a week-long business delegation to China and is talking to our Beijing correspondent, Stephen McDonell.
STEVEN CIOBO: We take China as it is. Clearly, there's been a slowdown in growth from being plus 7 to below 7 per cent growth. But the fact remains that China's still going along at a fair clip when you consider the growth between 6 and 7 per cent today on the size of the Chinese economy is probably the equivalent of you know 11, 12, 13 per cent a decade or so ago. So we're still talking about a lot of growth from China, plus we are seeing the rebalancing and the transition within the Chinese economy away from production toward consumption. That aligns frankly very nicely with Australia's interests as well.
STEPHEN MCDONELL: What about debt, though. Is it possible that state and enterprises are being loaded up with debt? So any deals that come out of this week could be short-lived if that debt comes back to haunt these companies. Are you worried at all about that?
STEVEN CIOBO: I'm not a pessimist on China. We think that the Chinese government will be able to manage the Chinese economy. We think that China will continue to expand and continue to grow, and that's creating terrific opportunity for Aussie exports.
STEPHEN MCDONELL: Let's talk about those deals then. How would you measure a successful China-Australia week? Do you have any idea of what this week would bring in terms of investment?
STEVEN CIOBO: We saw in 2014 when we ran Australia Week in China, from delegates themselves, they attributed around $1 billion of additional export sales to Australia Week, and around $3 billion of additional investments off the back of Australia Week.
RICO HIZON: And that’s Australia's Trade Minister Steve Ciobo speaking there to the Beijing correspondent Steve McDonald.
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