Australia–China CEO Roundtable to Be Mutually Valuable

The Business Council of Australia has welcomed the establishment today of an Australia–China CEO Roundtable.

A memorandum of understanding setting out the arrangements for the Australia-China CEO Roundtable was signed by the Hon. Alexander Downer MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr Bo Xilai, Minister for Commerce, in Sydney today.

BCA President, Mr Michael Chaney, said the roundtable would make a valuable contribution to strengthening relationships between business leaders in China and Australia.

“Australian business very much appreciates the support given to this initiative by the President of China and the Prime Minister of Australia at their bilateral meeting in Sydney,” Mr Chaney said.

“China and Australia have together forged a very successful trade and economic relationship over recent decades.”

“This is reflected in the fact that, on current projections, China will shortly become Australia’s largest trading partner,” he said.

Mr Chaney said BCA Member companies wanted to see economic and commercial relations with China continue to expand and develop for the future benefit of the people of both nations.

“The establishment of the CEO roundtable will allow the heads of businesses to come together to discuss key issues and to make recommendations on important areas of policy to our respective governments,” he said.

“It will provide a forum for business to jointly address important priorities such as the free trade agreement negotiations, domestic policies that impact on investment and commerce and improving the level of understanding between Australian and Chinese business leaders.

“In particular, we welcome the opportunity the roundtable will provide Australian and Chinese CEOs to meet on a regular basis to discuss major issues with senior government leaders.”

The BCA’s Task Force on Trade and International Relations, led by its Chairman, John Denton, will have a key role in supporting the Council’s contribution to the roundtable.

The first meeting of the roundtable is to be held in 2008.