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Ministers visit Chinese auto-makers to cement trade relationship

The minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Senator Kim Carr, and the minister for trade, Simon Crean, will be visiting Chinese car manufacturers in a bid to boost Australian car-parts sales.

Despite the economic downturn, China is now the world’s second-largest automotive manufacturer and the largest market for new passenger vehicles, according to Senator Carr.

Anhui and Hubei provinces have reported double-digit growth rates over the past few years, opening up opportunities for various Australian export products and services.

According to Senator Carr, the visit to China will also act as a reaffirmation of Australia’s engagement with the Chinese economy, supporting our country’s trade negotiation efforts.

“China is a key market for the future of Australia’s automotive industry,” Senator Carr said.

“We will deliver the message that Australia has the auto design and engineering expertise — including new and green technologies — to allow Australia to play a lead role in the rapidly changing Chinese auto market.”

The ministers will meet leading Chinese car manufacturers including Shanghai Automotive Industry Cooperation (SAIC), Geely, Chery, Dongfeng and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC). They will also attend a ceremony to mark the ‘10,000th seat per month’ milestone for Australian automotive components manufacturer, Futuris, in its exports to China.

“We want to drive greater levels of cooperation between the auto sectors in Australia and China and help Australian companies to secure a bigger slice of the action in the world’s largest new passenger car market,” Crean said.

The ministers plan to meet with both senior municipal and provincial leaders to highlight the significant benefits of deeper integration of our economies. Australia stands to play a critical supply chains role to meet the fast-growing demand from China’s central and inland regions, the ministers claim.

“We are actively pursuing a second track of commercial links at the business-to-business and government-to-business level with China. We are keen to expand Australia’s commercial footprint across the breadth of China, including in areas of central and western China,” Crean said.

Senator Carr said the diversification of markets for Australian automotive parts makers was a critical part of the Australian Government’s strategy for a sustainable industry.


“Our New Car Plan for a Greener Future sets a policy framework for diversification. We will be meeting with key members of the General Motors Asia Pacific board, including GM Asia Pacific president Nick Reilly, in Shanghai. That meeting highlights the importance of GM Holden to the auto maker’s global strategy,” he said.

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