SYDNEY: Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday (Mar 7) that his government wanted to diversify trade and foreign investment partners and will lead a business delegation to India which he said shared Australia’s democratic values.
Australia wanted “greater diversity in who we trade with – and greater variety in what we trade, meaning our economy is more resilient and more secure”, he said in a speech to the AFR Business Summit in Sydney.
China is easily Australia’s largest trading partner, although a diplomatic dispute has resulted in “trade blockages” being imposed on a raft of Australia’s exports. Canberra has asked Beijing to remove those blockages as the two nations resume talks after a years-long diplomatic freeze.
Business leaders across transport, resources, finance, higher education, architecture and energy will on Wednesday accompany Albanese to India, which is Australia’s sixth-largest trading partner.
India and Australia are security partners through the Quad group, which also includes the United States and Japan.
Australia would supply critical minerals to India, while also making electric vehicle components such as batteries and other green energy products in Australia, Albanese said in the speech.
“We can do all these things as well as remaining a trusted and reliable supplier of energy to key trading partners such as Japan and the Republic of Korea,” he added.
Albanese said that Australia would be “deepening and diversifying our international investment and trade links”.
Australia is the largest supplier of iron ore to China, but is seeking to diversify its customers for critical minerals and last month blocked a Chinese investment in a rare earths miner on national interest grounds.