CANBERRA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu has said in an article published on the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that China is a land of opportunities for Australia.
In the article made available on AFR website on Saturday, Ma said China has given out a satisfactory "score report" as the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.7 percent in 2013.
This is a hard-won achievement given the lingering international financial crisis, the unrecovered world economy and China's effort of economic restructuring, Ma wrote. The ambassador pointed out that huge opportunities may arise for the global and the Australian economy.
"China's service sector accounted for 46.1 percent of the country's GDP in 2013, up from 44.6 percent in 2012, outperforming the industrial sector for the first time. The service sector has become a new growth engine, setting economic growth on a healthier, long-term trajectory," the articles said. "China-Australia cooperation in the service sector is moving forward fast. China has been Australia's largest export market for service products for three years in a row. Our two-way trade in services reached 8.5 billion AU dollars (7.44 billion U.S. dollars) and Australia exported 6.7 billion AU dollars (5.86 billion U.S. dollar) worth of service products to China in 2012-2013."
He also noted that China is Australia's largest source of international students, second-largest source of inbound tourists as well as the fastest-growing inbound tourism market.
Despite a softening of its economy, Ma writes, with 2013 growth the same as 2012, China still has robust demand for Australian energy and resources. "A larger, better-quality and more stable Chinese economy will bring even more opportunities to the world," the article said.
China's outbound trade and investment will continue to expand with outbound investment expected to reach 500 billion U.S. dollars over five years. This is good news to Australian businesses in energy, resources and agriculture.
The ambassador said that both China and Australia should work together to seize new opportunities and fully tap cooperation potential.
The ambassador's article came after AFR published an interview with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Jan. 25 in which Bishop said she sees the United States, not China, as Australia's most important economic partner. "When you combine Australian and U.S. two-way trade with investment, it stands at over 1 trillion AU dollars (0.88 trillion U.S. dollars)," Bishop said in an interview with AFR Weekend after meeting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Washington. "So in respect of who is our 'best friend' in economic terms,it is undeniably the U.S. While China is of course our largest merchandise trading partner, I would just make that point, as I am here in Washington," she said. AFR commented that Bishop's comments are significant because they suggest the new Coalition government is lining up with its security guarantor, the United States, over Australia's biggest trading partner, China.