Critics say the country’s economy is vulnerable because of its reliance on China
Australia has been forced to rethink its industrial policy after an acute shortage of ventilators and protective equipment exposed what critics labelled its “dependence” on China.
As part of the country’s effort to tackle its coronavirus outbreak, Canberra has promised to nurture local manufacturing to ensure it is less reliant on global supply chains.
“Open trading has been a core part of our prosperity over centuries,” Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, told parliament.
“But equally, we need to look carefully at our domestic economic sovereignty as well.”
Canberra has tightened restrictions on foreign takeovers and is now trying to ensure it can source critical raw materials, make vital components and manufacture the medical products required to boost self-sufficiency during crises.
Australia is a nation that has built its economy on free trade and shipping raw materials to China. Its two-way trade with Beijing was worth more than A$200bn ($128bn) in 2019.
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Jamie Smyth, Financial Times