Australia-China CEO Roundtable In Perth

Business Council of Australia

Speakers: Bran Black Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia

Topics: Australia-China CEO Roundtable


Good morning, I am Bran Black, Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, and it is my pleasure to host you here today.

Welcome, to our esteemed Chinese guests, and especially my co-Chair, Mr. Zhao, Chairman of the China Development Bank.

Welcome also to our Business Council of Australia members, as well as observers from both Chinese and Australian delegations.

First, I would like to begin with an Australian tradition, which is our acknowledgement of country. This signifies our respect for the First Nations people of Australia.

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which this event is taking place today - the Whadjuk Nyoongar people.

Mr. Zhao will shortly introduce the Chinese delegates. I'll now introduce the members of our Australian delegation.

ANZ Mr Mark Whelan, Group Executive

BHP Ms Vandita Pant, Chief Financial Officer

BlueScope Mr Mark Vassella, Managing Director

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

Fortescue Dr Andrew Forrest AO, Chairman

GrainCorp Mr Robert Spurway, Managing Director and CEO

King & Wood Mallesons Ms Sue Kench, Global Managing Partner

Monash University Professor Sharon Pickering, Vice-Chancellor and President

Qube Mr Paul Digney, Managing Director

Rio Tinto Ms Kellie Parker, Chief Executive, Australia

Wesfarmers Mr Rob Scott, Managing Director

Woodside The Hon Ben Wyatt, Board Member

Business Council of Australia Chair, Global Engagement Committee

The Hon Warwick Smith AO

I also acknowledge our representatives from Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who are here today. I thank them for all they've done in terms of helping ensure that this event could proceed today.

This is the first time in seven years that we've been able to host this roundtable. It's a tremendous honour to have you all here, and it is also a tremendous honour to have the opportunity to present, very shortly, to our two leaders when they come a bit later on.

While there have been challenging times in the bilateral relationship between the two nations, I think it is fair to say this is yet another positive point of progress.

That progress began last year when the BCA led a delegation of business leaders, including some of you here today, to Shanghai - and that was to coincide with the Prime Minister's historical visit to China.

More engagement is always a positive thing.

And that's what's so important about events such as this, and the Business Dialogue which we held in Shanghai, is that it shows that while the parameters of a bilateral relationship are set by governments, it will always be sustained by the quality of the personal relationships and especially those personal relationships that exist on a business-to-business level.

Looking around I can see the warmth of some of those connections. I could see that earlier as I walked around the room. I know of at least five, but I am sure that there are more, relationships between Australian members of this delegation and Chinese members of this delegation, I hope to see a few more by the end of this meeting and in the years to come.

China is, quite obviously, enormously important to us here in Australia from a trading perspective. Our largest trading partner. Responsible for more than $320 billion in two-way trade. And those figures are growing and that is a good thing.

What I see from Australian businesses, and our Chinese counterparts, is that there is a strong desire to further strengthen the relationship between our two nations.

And around this room we have leaders in agriculture, finance, education, resources, logistics and manufacturing, to name a few, that are committed to doing just that.

Today we will address four different agenda items, and I look forward to hearing from each of you in relation to those items. I remind everybody that our timing is necessarily tight and we need to make sure that we are concluded with this conversation in time for the leaders arrival later on this morning, and so we have 3 minutes allotted per speaker on agenda items.

I will now hand over to my esteemed co-Chair, Mr. Zhao, Chairman of the China Development Bank.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.