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Treasurer signs memorandum of understanding with China's National Development and Reform Commission.

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Today it was my pleasure to meet with the Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), His Excellency, Mr Zhang Ping.

Mr Zhang and I have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a bilateral seminar program between the NDRC and the Commonwealth Treasury.

This MOU will provide an excellent opportunity to further strengthen institutional linkages with Treasury’s counterpart in China and to foster dialogue and exchange on shared economic challenges, the global financial crisis and economic reform.

Today we discussed the global financial crisis and foreign investment and trade between our two countries, and will continue to discuss the important role of the G-20 in responding to the crisis.

The importance of China and its economic growth to Australia and to the world has never been greater. Over the past 25 years, the Chinese economy has grown at an annual average rate of around 10 per cent in real terms, and over the past decade it has accounted for around 20 per cent of global growth.

China is now our largest trading partner and second largest export destination. Australian businesses are vigorously pursuing trade opportunities with China.

China and Australia continue to develop an already close relationship, based on a strong foundation of economic, social and cultural linkages.

By working together in global and regional forums, Australia and China can assist the world to meet global challenges with comprehensive and effective global responses.

21 October 2008