James Packer: Embracing the China Market

China's rising middle class means Australia must embrace China, deepen ties at every level

SYDNEY, March 14, 2013 — Crown Limited Chairman James Packer provided key insights into Australia's developing relationship with Asia and highlighted the importance of Australia's deepening its ties with China “at every level.”

An emerging theme in Packer’s speech was the need for Australia to turn its attention on “future growth industries that meet the need of China’s [booming] middle class,” including education and tourism.

Packer stated relationships could be strengthened through student exchanges. However, he warned:

“Our universities across the board are doing an outstanding job, but the international competition for Chinese students is fierce. Some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., Europe and Canada are working furiously to build their Chinese student base.”

Packer went on to say that while Australia’s tourism industry faces challenging times, he believes China is the way forward with its fast-growing outbound travel market.

Packer also spoke to foreign policy, saying that while it was important Australia remained friends with both the US and China, it was essential Australia had a more independent foreign policy, stating:

“This independence is absolutely vital to our national interest.”

Packer concluded:

“If we get our policies right, if we get our priorities right and if businesses take the lead, we will see long-term jobs and economic prosperity for our people.” 

Reported by Alexandra Mayhew

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Video: Highlights from the program (4 min., 2 sec.)



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Media Coverage

"Curb your rhetoric, Packer warns pollies," SBS World News, 14 March 2013

"Markets Live: Miners lead share slump," The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 March 2013

"James Packer Speaks on Australia’s Relationship with Asia at Asia Society Lunch", AusInformer, 14 March 2013

"Packer warns politicians against Asian xenophobia," The Age, 14 March 2013 [also in Daily Liberal, and Great Lakes Advocate]

"James Packer endorses Bob Carr for China relations," Andrew White, The Australian, 14 March 2013

"James Packer in push for Asian students," Damon Kitney, The Australian, 14 March 2013

"Australian billionaire urges govt to strengthen ties with China," Global Times, 14 March 2013

"James Packer tells politicians to curb foreign worker rhetoric", Business Spectator, 14 March 2013

"Crown chief hails march into China, Ben Butler," The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 2013

"Business lashes out at Labor," The Financial Review, 15 March 2013