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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is China really our biggest trading partner?

Australian Acting PM, Julia Gillard, March 30:
China is our second biggest trading partner.
Australian wandering wax muncher Kevin Rudd, March 30 (near the end):
You know why China’s important for us all? China’s important because it’s Australia’s largest trading partner.
So who is right?

The usual way to determine the largest trading partner is to add the value of export and imports together to arrive at one figure. By this measure, surprisingly, Japan was our largest trading partner in 2008 - and Japan was easily our largest export market, which is probably the most important side of the ledger.

In the latest completed full year, Australian exports to Japan were worth $50,567 million and imports $20,238 million - a total of $70,805 million.

By comparison, exports to China were worth $32,479 and imports $35, 257 million - a total of $67,736 million.

All of which begs the question, if our trading relationship between China and Japan is about the same, why isn't Kevin having secret meetings with Japanese politicians? And why isn't our Defence Minister leaving his wife and kids on Christmas Day to travel to Japan?

And is any journalist or politician ever going to take any notice of point 5.1 (or any other point) of the Ministerial Code of Conduct?

13 comments:

bruce said...

Who is Rudd arguing with anyway?

Who denies that 'China is important for us all'?

India is potentially almost as big a trading partner as China. Why is Rudd (and his whole government and the entire ALP including Hawke) ignoring India?

Anonymous said...

You said "The usual way to determine the largest trading partner is to add the value of export and imports together to arrive at one figure"

You are wrong in this assumption - If you look further on the DFAT site, you'll quickly discover that China is, in fact, our biggest trading partner.

I look forward to your retraction when you discover where you went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

You said "If you look further on the DFAT site, you'll quickly discover that China is, in fact, our biggest trading partner."

Unfortunately it is YOU who is wrong. If you look further on the DFAT site you'll quickly discover that the title of the graph you refer to is, in fact, 'Australia's Merchandise Imports by region'

I'm sorry to say that it is in fact the case that Japan is Australia's largest trading partner, if you care to read the entire report.

I look forward to your retraction when you discover where you went wrong.

Egg said...

Maybe 'they all look the same' to the Krudder?

When's he creating GiftsGivenWatch, BTW?

Boy on a bike said...

You forgot to add the secret commissions paid by Chinese govt agents to Fitzgibbon for the export of secret military hardware, plus the imports of 1 million tonnes of earwax since the election (for midnight snacks).

With those included, the Chinese take the lead.

bruce said...

Why does the ALP hate brown people?

Egg said...

"Why does the ALP hate brown people?"

All people are equal, but the lighter are more equal?

Infidel Tiger said...

I used to frequent the Shadowlands for the japery, now I stay for the serious investigative journalism.

Good show, MM.

Margo's Maid said...

Wow, it's like Christmas Eve around here - so much to look forward to.

blogstrop said...

Double figures!
MM, you're on a roll. Now for the AUS/UK/USA spendathon vs. EUROSTINGE. Tune in again, folks, to see who's the big winner/loser in the next round of MM: Contra Mundum.

Margo's Maid said...

Double figures! - I feel giddy 'strop.

Stephen Conroy's Great Grandfather said...

Nicely done.

Infidel Tiger said...

I really don't have anything to add, but it's never stopped me before. Onwards and upwards.