“Chinese investment in Western Australia is increasing and I expect to see Chinese investment continues to grow,” Colin Barnett, state premier of Western Australia, said here on Tuesday.
In an interview with Xinhua at his office, Barnett said he believes around 80 percent of China’s investment in Australia is put into projects in Western Australia.
“Chinese is now Australia’s most important trading partner, and 70 percent of all Australia’s export to China is from Western Australia as well,” said Barnett during the Boao Forum Perth conference which is focused on energy, resources and sustainable development.
Talking about the bilateral relationship, Barnett, who was elected premier in 2008 and has visited China for several times, said he was pleased to see the cooperation between Australia and China was very close, and China’s business relationship with WA is getting closer year by year.
He mentioned that it was good to see Chinese investment coming into Australia about five or six years ago. It is a bit late comparing with Western countries or Japan in terms of investment in resources sector in Australia, but he was confident to see more investments from China in the years ahead and hope to see that Chinese investments would match some other countries in the future.
“When I was in China, I told political leaders, government officials or state owned enterprises that Chinese investment was very welcome in WA. But I also said that these investment should go to big projects with high quality and the investors should hold these projects for a long term.”
He also encouraged the Chinese investors to focus on natural gas projects in Western Australia, which will help stabilize the price of energy.
“The world is growing rapidly, and urbanization is growing, particularly in Asia. So at this moment the energy demand would stay strong and energy price will stay high,” he added.
At the Boao Forum for Asia business conference in Perth which was closed Tuesday afternoon, Barnett said his state would be the biggest or second biggest producer of liquefied natural gas by 2020, and the production of iron ore will double during this period.
The Western Australia’s economy is dominated by its resources and services sector and largely driven by the export of iron-ore, gold and liquefied natural gas.