21st September, Darwin, NT: Darwin has long been considered Australia’s gateway to Southeast Asia. By 2030 it is estimated that Asia will represent approximately two-thirds of the world’s global middle class population, positioning the Northern Territory as a prime benefactor in the facilitation of international shipping and trade.
China has always played a fundamental role in the development of the Northern Territory. Growth in Northern Territory exports to China have increased on average by 22 per cent year-on-year. As the territory’s second-largest trading partner, Chinese exports are worth more than $1.4 billion annually to the Northern Territory economy.
In October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the country’s new Silk Road policy, which aims to serve as a modern version of the terrestrial Silk Road Economic Belt. An additional Maritime Silk Road policy was also announced, with aims to foster collaboration in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and North Africa with the development of ports, shipping lanes, oil and gas pipelines, and airports.
The economic framework aims to link more than 65 economies over 4 billion people, to form a strategic network of nations comprising of more than 46% of current global GDP. The development of critical infrastructure will play a key role in the capitalisation of unexplored opportunities within the Northern Territory, as outlined in the Agricultural Competitiveness white paper to feed some of Asia’s fastest growing populations.
The Northern Territory itself is fast developing as a trade gateway for other parts of Australia, with the Darwin-Adelaide railway helping lift the volume of exports through Darwin port by a factor of thirteen in the past 10 years alone.
In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to create a $40 billion Silk Road Infrastructure Development Fund, with a focus on establishing infrastructure for the purposes of resource production. This is in addition to the newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank of which Australia became a partner as of March 2015.
The Northern Territory exports a range of goods to China including LNG, raw minerals, petroleum and live cattle. In fact, more than 85% of all exports from the Northern Territory head directly to countries based in Asia, including China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
China’s new Silk Road policy could radically redefine the economic and political role of the Northern Territory in the face of increasing global demand. Daryl Guppy, President of the Northern Territory National Australia China Business Council, will be presenting at the Northern Territory Major Projects conference this October to discuss the impact of China’s New Silk Road Policy on Northern Territory infrastructure and construction.
The Northern Territory government has continually strengthened its relationship with China through its co-operation in areas of trade and economic development. The AustralAsia trade route widely promotes secure shipping routes between Shanghai and Darwin and in 2008 the government held a Northern Territory investment seminar in Beijing to promote 24 exploration projects to potential Chinese investors.
Northern Territory Asian Engagement and Trade Minister, Peter Styles, joined more than 90 Northern Territory businesses and stakeholders at the Northern Australia development office in September to discuss the territory’s role in the new Silk Road trade route.
More details of the conference are expected to be announced closer to date. The 6th Annual Northern Territory Major Projects conference is being held at the Darwin Convention Centre on the 6th & 7th of October.
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Expotrade Australia Pty Ltd
Expotrade is a global conference and event organiser with its head office based in Melbourne, Australia. Expotrade has delivered some of the largest, most successful B2B industry conferences and events in the areas of infrastructure, major projects, sustainability, technology & architecture. For almost 10 years, our unique blend of knowledge, experience and flexibility has accomplished an array of consistently top quality events. Today, Expotrade events enjoy such a distinctive edge, they are amongst the best patronised in the calendar.
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