SYDNEY, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Australia's shadow treasurer has told a forum in Sydney on Friday afternoon that he is open to signing up to China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
During his speech at the Asia Society event, Chris Bowen said the ambitious global infrastructure scheme "will have profound ramifications for years to come."
"We will come to office if we win the next election with an open mind as to how Australia and China can best collaborate on the Belt and Road Initiative, with a clear-eyed approach to our respective national interests," he said.
Of key interest to the Labour Party minister is potential for infrastructure development in the North of Australia to improve shipping and transit routes.
"We will examine proposals on a case by case basis including considering how the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and the Belt and Road Initiative can best complement each other," Bowen said.
Senator Penny Wong has previously lent her support to China's willingness to invest in regional enterprises that "broaden the material well-being of its citizens and ours."
"China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides valuable opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation and our reluctance to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was timorous and self-defeating," she said.
"We need to display much greater confidence in harnessing the opportunities of the BRI and ensure that we do all in our power to contribute to stability, prosperity and the regeneration of confidence."