Corrs CEO and partner John W. H. Denton shared his views on the economic outlook for China in a interview with ABC TV Business Today.

China’s economic environment has raised alarm recently with reported quarterly economic growth of 7.7 per cent falling below the 8 per cent anticipated by private sector forecasters.

Mr Denton said opportunity in China remained strong, but required focus from both countries.

“What we are seeing, in line with the Asian Century white paper, is a broadening of the relationship with China and Australian to an institutional relationship that doesn’t rely on one area, but covers a multitude of departments and key ministries,” Mr Denton said.

“I think that will be quite important in terms of driving forward towards, for example, a free trade agreement with China.”

There remain key issues that need to be resolved for Australian businesses to take up maximum opportunity with China, including in areas like access for dairy and the opening up and development of the services sector.

“These are areas where the Chinese would like to see us give more ground and they’re areas that require some domestic reform from China. But it’s in the interest of both countries for an agreement to be closed expeditiously,” Mr Denton said.

Mr Denton said the fact that Australia was open to Foreign Direct Investment had to be reinforced constantly to China.

“There are certainly statements made in China from time-to-time by Chinese state-owned enterprises that Australia is less accepting of Chinese investment than we have been in the past.

“In Australia there’s one perceived model of an SOE investment but that is not the case, it is important to realise it’s not one cookie cutter. There is a multiplicity including centrally lead or local government SOEs and intense competition between various SOEs as well.”

Mr Denton said a major juncture of interest would occur between both countries in 2014.

“China will host APEC and Australia is set to host the G20, and China is a very important player in that process. Officials and the business community now need to make sure we have positive agendas to share with each other and work with each other on ahead.”

Click here to watch the seven minute interview.

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