Australia-China CEO Roundtable statement

18 June 2024

Australian and Chinese business leaders met in Perth today for the seventh Australia-China CEO Roundtable, facilitated by the Business Council of Australia in partnership with China Development Bank.

BCA Chief Executive Bran Black said the Roundtable played a significant role in boosting economic opportunities and prosperity for both countries.

“It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of China as a trading partner for Australia - it accounts for more than a quarter of Australian trade with the world, and last year totalled almost $320 billion,” Mr Black said. 

“We heard valuable, practical advice from senior business figures on ways in which we might strengthen this relationship—from comments by Rob Scott of Wesfarmers on building our recyclable materials industries, to Anthony Bishop of Cochlear addressing the procurement work necessary to deliver hearing implants to adult Chinese in need of them.

“This forum is the foundation stone for how we get down to the practical work of bringing life and actions to the framework for business engagement our governments are working hard to create.

“The warmth of the existing personal relationships between these senior leaders struck me as particularly notable—and after this week they have clearly grown.”

The CEO-Roundtable was attended by 14 senior business leaders from each country, and they discussed how both countries can:

  • enhance cooperation in fields such as energy, decarbonisation, mining, agriculture, and services.
  • create an attractive and competitive business environment for enterprises in both countries.
  • deepen cooperation in innovation and supply chains to jointly address global challenges.

Business leaders then joined Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chinese Premier Li Qiang for a subsequent meeting. 

Mr Black told the leaders of both nations that business is committed to further engagement and leveraging opportunities on both sides.

“While it is for governments to set the terms of the trading relationship, it is the role of the business community to bring those relationships to life and look for greater economic and trade opportunities,” Mr Black said.

“What happens in these Roundtable discussions helps set the tone for business collaboration across our two economies.

“It sends a signal that commerce between Australia and China is welcome and to be encouraged—and it confirms that China’s and Australia’s most senior business leaders value the opportunity to engage with each other even further.

“We need to continue bringing our business leaders together, to complement the work of our governments, with long-lasting personal connections.”

As part of its global engagement strategy, the BCA advocates for greater trade relations with key partners that assist Australian companies to grow and enter new markets. Part of that strategy includes ongoing engagement through future Australia-China CEO Roundtables.

Participants of the Australia-China CEO Roundtable

From Australia

Business Council of Australia Chief Executive, Mr Bran Black (Australia chair)

Business Council of Australia, Chair of the Global Engagement committee, the

Hon Warwick Smith AO

ANZ Group Executive, Mr Mark Whelan

BHP Chief Financial Officer, Ms Vandita Pant

Bluescope Managing Director, Mr Mark Vassella

Cochlear, President of Asia Pacific & Latin America, Mr Anthony Bishop

Fortescue Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO

GrainCorp Managing Director and CEO, Mr Robert Spurway

King & Wood Mallesons , Global Managing Partner, Ms  Sue Kench

Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Sharon Pickering

Qube Managing Director, Mr Paul Digney

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Australia, Ms Kellie Parker

Wesfarmers Managing Director, Mr Rob Scott

Woodside Board Director, the Hon Ben Wyatt

From China

China Development Bank Chairman and Executive Director, Mr Zhao Huan (Chinese chair)

Bank of China Chairman, Mr Ge Haijiao

Beijing Energy Group Board Director and President, Mr Kan Xing

China National Offshore Oil Corporation Director and President, Mr Zhou Xinhuai

CITIC Group Chairman, Mr Xi Giohua

COFCO Chairman, Mr Lyu Jun

Goldwind Science & Technology Co President and Director, Mr Cao Zhigang

Optimize Integration Group Founder and Chairman, Mr Su Zhi

Peking University President, Mr Gong Qihuang

Sany Heavy Industry Co Chairman, Mr Xiang Wenbo

SF Group Founder and Chairman, Mr Wang Wei

Tianqi Lithium Industries Chairlady, Ms Jian Anqi

Trina Solar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gao Jifan

Yili Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Liu Chunxi


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