Things get a bit biased in the west, and right now China is seen by politicians as a negative – even if most western economies rely on China trade.
The mythology from politicians is that their country – including Australia – should look at “diversifying” trade targets away from China.
Thinking of India as an “alternative” to China is a bit disrespectful of India and setting up for failure. Seeing India for what it is – a really good opportunity but on a different scale to China – will lead to better commercial and political decisions.
Let’s not look at India through the lens of someone else’s “trade wars”.
When it comes to the world, China is the big game. India and Indonesia are also in the game and worth playing with, but each needs to be respected for what it is.
Take the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper which reported that growth in demand through to 2030 from China would be greater than that from the US, Japan, India and Indonesia combined. China’s rapidly expanding middle-class market is the big market.
Even the Peter Varghese report on India’s potential showed that by 2035, Australia might export $45 billion of products and services to India. That would be great news! But compare that figure of $45 billion (and it’s 15 years off) with last year when Australia exported more than $160 billion to China.
When we remove the blinkers of politics, we can treat each country with respect and see the actual opportunity they represent.
We can open our eyes to a better view of trade – seeing it as part of the overall relationship of friendship with trading partners.