Enter the dragon

THE need to boost national economies through foreign business investment is not lost on any Pacific island country. Talks in Brisbane last month saw the region’s leaders focusing on the need for a regional agreement which will ensure greater employment opportunities for our people in Australia and New Zealand. There is also the hope that under PACER Plus – if the sticking points can be ironed out – there will be opportunities for greater levels of investment by Australian and New Zealand businesses in the region.

While the negotiations bounce back and forth on the Pacific’s geopolitical tennis court, China has moved into several countries in a big way through extractive aid initiatives which in turn paved the way for it investors. Neighbourhood shops owned by Chinese investors stretch from Papua New Guinea to the Cook Islands. Chinese fishing boats – mainly long liners – ply the waters of every nation across this vast expanse of ocean which makes up 33 per cent of the world in which we live.

In the fields of mining, logging and real estate there is an influx of investors who want to take their hard-earned cash out of China’s struggling economy. The release of the Panama Papers last week also shows that some of these Chinese overseas transactions have been conducted under questionable circumstance. China has a huge volume of potential visitors to the Pacific. 

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