On 19 December,2016, just on the eve of the First Anniversary of “FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA” (hereinafter referred to as “China-Australia Free Trade Agreement”, see http://fta.mofcom.gov.cn/Australia/Australia_xdwb.shtml for more details), JP Richard Yuan from Australia, President of ABC World Pty Ltd., was invited by School of Economics to deliver an English lecture on “Opportunity and Challenge for 2.0 Era of Australia-China Economic and Trade Relations” for the postgraduate students of MIB (abbreviated for Master in International Business), MIB (International Students), and International Trade program. The lecture was chaired by Ms. Zhu Zhenrong, Deputy Dean of Trade Department and Director of International Trade Teaching and Research Office. Present on the lecture spot, Ms. Liu Ying, Director of BTBU International Office, gave a welcome speech and listened to the lecture attentively from the beginning to the end. Dr. Zhang Wei and Dr. Luo Yubo, respectively in charge of foreign affairs and postgraduate students affairs at School of Economics, as well as Ms. Wang Qian from International Trade Teaching and Research Office and more than 30 postgraduate students (with 9 international students among them) attended the lecture all along to jointly probe into the “Opportunity and Challenge for 2.0 Era of Australia-China Economic and Trade Relations”.
Richard Yuan pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia, the two countries have constructed a mutually beneficial and win-win strategic partnership of mutual trust, with a leap forward in political and economic relations. After a decade of negotiation, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement took effect formally on December 20, 2015, which can be interpreted as an upgrade from “1.0 version” to “2.0 version” in economic and trade relations between China and Australia. In the past one year, China-Australia relations have been in the best and most significant period in history for the development, providing a more broad platform for their bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The ratified China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is in essence to make up for the inadequacy of both China and Australia. The abundant natural resources such as iron ore and superior quality agricultural products are in urgent need of market. Moreover, Australia has the advanced science and technology. All these are mutually complementary to China.
Richard Yuan started from scratch when he was young. Combined with his own experiences and business practices, he illustrated his viewpoints on education for study abroad in Australia, immigration and visa, tax policy, real estate market, tourism, etc. He especially mentioned that Australia is open to welcome Chinese to study there and develop an education development campaign to accept the application for college, middle school and even primary school programs as early as 6-year-old kids. The reason lies in that Chinese pay good at paying bills, unwilling to owe debts, happy to learn and with a good credit. On the other hand, he also pointed out the prejudice against Chinese in Australia. Media played a bad role and exaggerated the negative effect of Chinese consumers who purchased Australian infant formula. He regarded it as discriminatory in the supermarkets to post the sign “Only Two Bags of Infant Formula per Person” only written in Chinese. He clearly asserts that “Without China, Australia would die”. Without China’s big market, the Australian food, wine, dairy products and other dining table products cannot sell. With China’s big market, smart people and good credit, “Belt and Road Initiative” will be an opportunity for Australian industry to tap into the new market. Compared with the USA, especially considering the President-elect Trump with “Uncertainty is certain”, Australia is supposed to be China’s important strategic partner in future.
During the interaction of Q&A, international students were very active. Ahiekpor Tetteh from Ghana, Pegaz Laurent from France, Libia Rosanna from Italy, and David Seward from Liberia raised their questions respectively on environmental pollution such as smog, profit comparison of enterprise operation and impact, work or study in Australia and how to impact university graduates to get support to establish international business organizations, etc. in which they had interests. The students gave a feedback that the lecture was inspiring and was a nice avenue for them to know more about international business environment and push them more to achieve a goal. The lecturer’s struggle for success left a deep impression on the students and meanwhile, they expressed more expectation on China-Australia partnership and China-Australia economic and trade cooperation.
After the lecture, Liu Ying and Zhu Zhenrong talked with Richard Yuan respectively about establishing the relationship between BTBU and universities in Australia, and about the publicity of BTBU MIB program to attract international students from Australia. The lecture also obtained wide social concern. Mr. Jing Baoqiang, Chief of External Cooperation Department (Beijing) of Shaanxi TV (SXTVS), was attracted to come to the lecture and made a preliminary contact with Richard Yuan, who met the request for an interview the next day. On the same day, China Trade News also made an in-depth interview with Richard Yuan on the lecture topic and invited BTBU scholars to contribute papers or comments for the newspaper column. The lecture has achieved a favorable social result.
Brief Introduction to Lecturer: Richard Yuan, JP, President of ABC World Pty Ltd; Chairman of Australia-China Entrepreneurs' Club; Int'l Ambassador of SME Association of Australia, formerly a college teacher at Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute (Beijing International Studies University, abbreviated as BISU now) from 1987 to 1996, author of “English Guide to Beijing”.