Australia and China seal deals worth £6bn

City A.M. Reporter
AUSTRALIA and China have agreed commercial deals worth more than $8.8bn (£6bn) – mostly in in mining.

The agreements see state-owned China Development Bank undertaking to provide financing for several major mining projects, including a $1.2bn loan for an iron ore development.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is fighting a fierce mining backlash against the 40 per cent mine-profits tax, claimed the deals indicated the tax was not putting off investors.
of the 10 bilateral deals signed on Monday covered the resources and energy industries.

"The Chinese are still active partners with all of our resource companies. There is a lot of good stuff going on out there," he said.

"It is important to separate the facts of what's going on from some of the fear that is being pushed by some companies who object to paying a bit more tax."

Miners have threatened to axe more than $20 bn in new Australian projects if the tax is introduced in its current form.

The world's second biggest iron ore miner, Rio Tinto has said that Australia is now its top sovereign-risk issue worldwide.

The miners' warnings, backed up by a multi-million-dollar industry ad campaign, has unnerved the public ahead of a general election expected to be held late this year, with opinion polls showing almost half voters against the new tax.