Worried about China’s slowdown, Australia looks afresh at India opportunity


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Amid China’s economy plummeting to a 25-year-low and bleak forecasts for global growth, Australia, a major exporter of commodities, is looking at India’s rapidly growing economy as a beacon of hope which will be able to make up for losses due to the Chinese slowdown.

Australian Resource Minister Frydenberg is betting on the India growth story and has spelt out many attractions of India, including its large market, urbanisation and the growing middle class, and has voiced confidence that India, one of key trading partners of Canberra, will be able to fill in the shoes of China. 

“Other opportunities in the region, particularly in Asean countries, particularly in India, will hopefully meet the hole that has been left by the slowdown in China,” he said in an interview conducted to Sky News on January 20. “India hasn’t gone through the urbanisation and development that China has but under the Modi government they’re very intent on following that path,” he added.

The minister added that his country has a lot to benefit from India and its middle class in the tourism and service sector.

China’s annual economic growth, according to latest statistics, has slowed to a 25-year low of 6.9%. He added that the fundamentals of the world economy were still conducive to commodity-exporting countries.

Australia and India are rapidly expanding their strategic and economic ties, which was reflected in the two-visits by the leaders of the two countries since the Modi government took charge. Currently, Australia’s bilateral trade with India is around $14.8 billion, which is way below China-Australia trade, which was estimated to be $136 billion, in 2014. 

But if the Chinese slowdown continues, one can expect India-Australia trade to go up visibly.