This piece shows just how significant China and the Asean region have become to Australia’s economy in recent times. Australia was one of the few Western countries to avoid a recession during the global financial crisis and, looking at these figures, it’s easy to see why: it built a trade deficit with China of AUD$7bn (US$6.47bn) five years ago into a $7bn surplus by the end of 2009.

Much has been said about Australia’s natural resource exports to China, with new Chinese cities expanding on frames of Australian (and Brazilian) steel. But other sectors are joining in the urbanization process; including architects, engineers and aviation experts. Clean energy companies have signed big contracts and Australian operators are even moving into the Chinese domestic tourism sector.

China has overtaken Japan as Australia’s largest trading partner and, although its direct influence on Australia’s GDP is estimated at only 3.5%, its overall influence on prices means it could actually affect GDP by as much as 10%.

Australia, while still trading heavily with more traditional partners such as Japan, the USA and Europe, has nevertheless entrenched itself firmly in Asia’s emerging regions.

source & article: Austrade