Henry sat in on a fascinating
discussion yesterday on “Growth Economies & Industries for the 21st
century: The Australasian Linkages,” held at Mallesons Stephen Jaques’
Melbourne offices by the fine folks at Australasian Access.

the most fascinating discussions involved were comparisons between the
rise of India and China as burgeoning economic powers.

the late 1800’s, China accounted for around 25% of the world’s
industrial output. By 1974, this figure had dropped to around 1.5%, but
is now on its way back up to somewhere around 7 or 8%. General
consensus has it plateauing at about 20%.

Perhaps the most
salient point raised was another quote from an un-named senior party
official, and related to the meeting by one of the speakers who spends
40% of the year in China. The quote – paraphrased – as follows: “In
1960, South Korea was the world’s poorest nation. Look at it now. China
is bigger than South Korea.”

Opportunities for Australia? There
is a lot of talk about a Chinese Free Trade Agreement with Australia to
be negotiated in the coming year or so. If successful, this would make
Australia the only country in the world to have FTA with China and the
USA. Opportunities? Opportunities indeed!

Read the full article at Henry Thornton here. And Ray Block writes on the consequences of China’s runaway export growth here.