Too Many Eggs in the Dragon’s Basket? Part Two: Diversifying Australia’s Export Base

(Future Directions, Nedlands, 15 December 2020) Since the publication of Part One of this paper, further deterioration in the Australia-China political and trading relationships has occurred, with the media offering useful commentary and analysis of the escalation, including as it relates to exports of wine, barley and coal. Despite serious current issues, Australia’s export reliance on China as a key destination for commodity exports will continue, but concurrent initiatives to broaden and grow the export base have to be pursued. Productivity benefits accrue from exporting, but the primary explanation is economically simplistic, in that countries promote their exports to cover the payments made for imports. Australia needs to continuously import an array of products and services that are not produced domestically but which are vital to sustaining the economy and preserving a high standard of living.