Fuelling the Dragon: Natural Resources and China's Development

Published 6 August 2012

A special report co-produced by The Brenthurst Foundation and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

This special report draws on discussions and papers from a major international dialogue on natural resource demand and China’s economy held at the Royal Zambezi Lodge on the Zambezi River in Zambia from 17-19 May 2012, co-hosted by the foundation and ASPI.

The dialogue brought together experts and policymakers from Africa, Australia, Latin America and elsewhere – including the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, and senior Australian members of parliament, Senator David Feeney and the Hon Julie Bishop MP – to compare the experiences of resource-based economies which have grown on the back of China’s soaring demand. The dialogue examined the likely trajectory of China’s future economic growth as well as other factors that are likely to shape Chinese overseas investment in the coming decade. Of particular significance for African countries, the dialogue emphasised the importance of economic diversification and resilience in order to weather any unexpected shifts in China’s resource demand or investment strategy.

This special report comprises three new papers presented at the dialogue – on Australia, Africa and Latin America – as well as a summary of the foundation’s previously published report on Chinese traders. Key highlights from the discussions are included in the Introduction and Conclusion. Short prefaces to the special report are provided by the Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga; the Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, Erastus Mwencha; the former president of Ghana, John A Kufuor; Julie Bishop; and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob Carr.

‘Fuelling the Dragon: Natural Resources and China’s Development’ was formally launched by the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, former Prime Minister of Australia, at the Africa Down Under Conference on 29 August 2012 in Perth, Australia.

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