On China’s State Owned Enterprises

On some articles posted in the Business Spectator:

I think Australia ought to be unapologetic on our standards where we need to be. However Australia needs to remain competitive in the global market. Earlier in the year the Lowy Institute polled 57% of Australians as believing that there was too much investment coming from China into Australia. However I would comment that such beliefs and scare-mongering around Chinese SOE’s are more associated with hangovers from our embarrassing White Australia policies than from any anecdotal evidence.

In fact, Chinese FDI into Australia (in terms of stocks) is still a minor portion, and since the modernisation of SOE’s (现代企业制度改革 / 市场化改革) – we have seen a major change in the ownership make-up of the SOE’s (股份制改造), as allured to in the article. Often this includes public listings and regularly foreign ownership. Some examples close to home are some of China’s upcoming banks, insurance companies and other firms that have a large % ownership by Australian businesses – ANZ owns around 30% of the growing Bank of Tianjin (majority SOE), IAG owns over 20% of Bohai Insurance (majority SOE) and the list goes on. Should we be sceptical about their investment or expansion into Australia?

I don’t think President Xi missed the memo – the domestic policy in China of “国退民进” is very real – that SOE influence is to decrease, while private is to increase.

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