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Recent Australian data shows that China’s transition to consumption-led growth is intensifying and helping to boost non-resources industries in Australia during a crucial period for both economies. At the same time, Australia is emerging from a China-fuelled mining boom and seeking new opportunities to provide food, services and health products to its biggest trading partner.

“Australian exports provide clear signs that middle-class incomes are continuing to gain and preferences are shifting in China toward services and higher-quality food products,” said Paul Bloxham, chief Australia economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. “The time-frame for China’s transition is large, a decade or more, and it won’t be easy. But the fact it is already underway is positive.”

The below charts look at the surge in Chinese demand for Australian food, health products, tourism and education, amid an economic shift also underway in Australia (click to enlarge).

The notable trends include:

  • China’s shift to consumption from industrialisation is fuelling middle class demand for vitamins. Investors are wagering demand for Australian health supplements and baby formula will only deepen with China’s burgeoning middle-class wealth
  • Australian beef sales to China surged six-fold in three years to a record A$917 million last year. The surge signals Chinese demand is aiding the transition away from mining, as wealthier diners opt for higher quality food
  • Australia had 1 million Chinese visitors last year, a record, as newly cashed up mainlanders take to the world. Now, almost as many mainland Chinese are flying to and from Australia as their Hong Kong neighbours
  • Chinese students are flocking to Australian universities in record numbers, reflecting the Asian behemoth’s growing wealth. The appeal of Australia, outside its similar time zone, clean environment and lower currency, is a pathway to residency. Australia’s universities and colleges have enrolled a record 93 000 students this year