Confucius Institute at University of Western Australia Holds “China in Conversation - Foreign Investment in Australia” Public Forum

[Source]    Confucius Institute at University of Western Australia [Time]    2019-07-03 08:35:44 

On June 27th, local time, the Confucius Institute at University of Western Australia (UWA) cooperated with the UWA Business School and the UWA Public Policy Institute to hold the “Lecture Series11: China in Conversation—Foreign Investment in Australia” in the auditorium at the University Club of Western Australia.

Peter Tinley, Minister of Department of Housing, Veterans Issues, Youth, and Asian Affairs of Western Australia, Jane Caforio, State Director of Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) of Western Australia, Simon Biggs, Vice President of University of Western Australia, Phil Thick, General Manager of Tianqi Lithium (Australia), Shamit Saggar, Chief Director of the UWA Public Policy Institute, Dong Zhihua, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Perth, Professor Wu Yanrui of the UWA Business School, Jiang Ying, Director of the Confucius Institute at the UWA, and other guests attended the event. More than 260 audiences participated in the public forum.

The guests

Peter Tinley, Phil Thick and Wu Yanrui were the keynote speakers at this public forum, sharing their views on the challenges and opportunities of foreign investment in Australia from political, commercial and academic perspectives. Shamit Saggar and Jiang Ying co-chaired the forum.

Jiang Ying first introduced the guests who attended the event that night, thanked the Perth people who attended the public forum, and mentioned that the Confucius Institute is committed to strengthening mutual understanding between China and Australia, with Chinese language teaching, business culture training, China-Australia dialogue forums, mutual study and investigation, participation in community activities, and other business contents, so as to make a closer and more productive relationship between Western Australia and China in education, culture and business. Shamit Saggar introduced the three keynote speakers and core content of the public forum.

Jiang Ying delivering a speech

Wu Yanrui talked about the theme of foreign direct investment in Australia, emphasizing that foreign direct investment is of great significance to a country’s economic development, while the data in 2017 showed that China’s direct investment in Australia was only ranked fifth, and China’s investment only accounted for 5% of Australia’s total foreign direct investment, where the total investment was less than 1/4 of the US direct investment in Australia. In addition, China’s direct investment in Australia had continued to decline from 2016 to 2018, while the proportion of Chinese investment in the six Australian states was uneven. In 2018, China’s direct investment in Western Australia only accounted for 3%. China’s investment in Western Australia is poor, and it is crucial to promoting China’s direct investment in Australia with policy support and positive media guidance of public opinion.

Phil Thick highlighted the contribution of Tianqi Lithium (China's largest supplier of core materials of Lithium batteries power new energy) to the employment and economic development of Western Australia. With a total investment of more than 700 million AUD, the ongoing construction of the Tianqi vertically integrated lithium plant provides more than a thousand construction jobs and is a good example of China’s direct investment in Australia. He said that it is exciting to work in such a Chinese company with a broad prospect.

Peter Tinley introduced the efforts of the Western Australian government to attract foreign investment, especially for mining investment. The state government also provided many preferential policies for foreign SMEs to start businesses in Western Australia. In the future, the state government will provide better policies and services for foreign investors, hoping to promote local employment and economic development. Western Australia has always maintained a good cooperative relationship with China and attaches great importance to the development and continuation of this relationship. Public forums like this provide a good platform for communication, and the state government is responsible for promoting economic development.

Hon. Peter Tinley delivering a speech

In the Q&A session, the audience enthusiastically raised many questions and interacted with the keynote speakers. Zachariah Coleman, a student from Rossmoyne Senior High School, thought such a public forum was necessary. He said Australia should welcome foreign investment. The development of every country is inseparable from other countries in the process of globalization.

Questions from the audience

After the forum, the local media West Australian Newspaper, Western Australia Channel 44, Oriental Post and China’s Hunan Television interviewed and reported the event.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia has hosted the “China in Conversation” public forum series since 2015 and invited many well-known experts and scholars from China and Australia, as well as government, business and industry executives to exchange views on hot spot issues of public concern. Through the conversations, people from China and Australia have a deeper understanding of the status quo of economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries in economy and culture, and it promotes further exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

Story by Pan Yan