Trade flows between Australia and Asia are at healthy levels - around 70% of all Australian goods are exported to Asia Pacific, and within that 70% about 30% exported to China.
The discussion was part of a new executive forum called Asia Briefing – Live centred on Asia and Australia engagement in the region, organised by the Asia Society Australia. The Asia Society is a global non-profit think tank established in 1956 to promote closer ties between Asia and the West.
The immediate effect of increasing trade protectionism to the Chinese economy has been a negligible 0.2% of GDP instead business sentiment has taken a beating according to Steve Holmes, senior portfolio manager and research strategist at Queensland Investment Corporation.
“It is very hard to make an investment decision, to hire someone, to build a new factory when you don’t really understand the field you are playing in at the moment,” Steve said.
“The sentiment side could actually end up having a bigger effect on the Chinese economy than what is currently coming through.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison also addressed the event, and Mark did an interview with Bloomberg TV live which you can see here.