I whole heartedly endorse key recommendations of a federal inquiry into the diversification of trade that called for establishing a national development bank, as recommended in the NCC’s White Paper. Manufacturing: double production by 2035, which formed the basis of a submission to the inquiry.
These policies are urgently needed to start decoupling Australia from its symbiotic relationships with increasingly belligerent Beijing, as I have written on before.
Part of the report focused on Australia’s need to become more self-sufficient, with the inquiry head, George Christensen MP, saying, “Much of the solution is internal; we can get Australia making things again by establishing a national development bank to build up our manufacturing sector.
“This, coupled with Government-led drive to increase our sovereign manufacturing capacity will reduce our dependence on foreign-made goods.
“Boosting our self-sufficiency is key, so in times of crisis we can stand on our own two feet as a nation,” he said
Mr Christensen warned of Australia’s trade vulnerabilities and made recommendations aimed at protecting Australia’s national interest and national security. Notably, the report was named “Pivot.”
He said that given ongoing tensions with China, “it is an unacceptable national security risk to have Chinese state-owned and state-linked enterprise involved in our universities and our strategic infrastructure.
“It’s a question of trust.
“Can we trust the CCP with our strategic infrastructure or our education institutions?
“I don’t think there would be an Australian who’d say yes.”
“There are many other countries with huge trading potential, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and India; steering away from China doesn’t have to mean steering away from economic prosperity,” Mr Christens said.
The extensive report also made recommendations on establishing a clear, consistent definition of national interest for the purposes of foreign investment; ways to incentivise domestic investment from Australian superannuation funds; ensuring that Australia has adequate domestic supplies of key resources, such as fuel and medical supplies, to lessen the impact of global supply chain disruptions in the event of a crisis; consider restrictions on foreign state-linked funding to Australian universities where such funding is considered to not be in the national interest; and more.
The Federal government needs to be pushed to implement the report’s key recommendations, and to declare its intentions to double manufacturing production by 2035, as I have written about here.