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CommSec Report Demonstrates Need to Look Past China

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Tags: Treasury, Taiwan

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson

The latest CommSec quarterly State of the States' report is a timely reminder that it will take a lot more than empty 'open for business' rhetoric to build resilience and sustainability in to the Tasmanian economy.

CommSec paints a confronting picture of an economy with enduring structural challenges and still recovering from the global economic downturn.

What we need is long term, strategic thinking that recognises a healthy economy is founded on quality education, business diversity and investment in the health and wellbeing of its people.

We also need to be realistic about our economic and social vulnerability as a result of an over-reliance on trade with China at the expense of exploring other trading relationships.

China's economy is slowing markedly and this is hurting Tasmania.

We have for too long put most of our export 'eggs' in to the one basket, ignoring the need for diversity among our trading partners in order to better withstand financial shocks outside our control.

Taiwan is Tasmania's second biggest trading partner and a huge contributor to our export economy.  Despite two years in office, the Liberal Government has failed to strengthen this important relationship.

While successive Tasmanian Premiers and Ministers have joined delegations to China on an almost annual basis, I understand it is more than a decade since a Tasmanian trade delegation visited Taiwan.

It's time the Premier and his Ministers looked past the dollar signs they get in their eyes at the mention of China and started nurturing other important trading relationships.

A government delegation to Taiwan to strengthen our relationship and grow our market access would demonstrate Tasmania is open for business to other important trading partners and potential partners.

The Liberals need to start making sensible strategic decisions to build resilience in to Tasmania's economy and creating sustainable jobs rather than just talking about being open for business.   Right now CommSec makes it clear that's all talk.