Shanghai trade fair generates Australia-China deals worth $15 billion

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will witness the signing of business deals between Australian and Chinese companies worth AUS$15 billion at the Chinese International Import Expo in Shanghai.

More than 150 Australian companies have participated in the international imports fair, which has served to improve relations between the two nations ahead of Foreign Affairs minister Marise Payne’s Beijing visit this week.

Meanwhile, a recent survey of Australian companies found that increasing diplomatic tension between China and Australia was their biggest risk to doing business.

The study, conducted by the University of Melbourne and KPMG, also found that 72% of the surveyed companies said China was a difficult place to do business. Almost a third (28%) of businesses said the trade war between the US and China was having a negative impact.

AustCham Beijing chief executive Nick Coyle said the survey results reflected an anxious mood amongst Australian businesses in China, although he did say that Minister Payne’s scheduled visit is a ‘positive sign’ for Australia-Sino relations.