Australian PM's Visit to India (Photo : Getty Images)
Australia is getting more from its relationship with China than with India, according to James Laurenceson, professor and deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney.
In his article on the Australian Financial Review, Laurenceson noted that although Australia and India have agreed to work together, signing six agreements during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull's visit to India last week, the relationship is not strong enough to provide stability in case Australia's relationship with China falls off.
According to Laurenceson, China is the only country that can deliver benefits to Australia, other than the U.S. He cited a report by Deloitte which found that if China's economic growth would slow down to less than 3 percent of the expected 6.7 percent, about 500,000 Australian jobs would be affected.
A new survey by the Australia-China Relations Institute also examined the ties between Australia and India, as well as between Australia and China.
The survey showed that in the past five years, Australian exports to India dropped 31 percent while exports to China increased further to 21 percent.
Between 2015 and 2016, China bought $73.3 billion worth of Australian goods, which account for about 30.9 percent of the total, while India's share was only 4 percent.
China also took $10.7 billion worth of Australian services, compared with India's $3.2 billion, which is understandable considering the size of India's economy.
Although India was the second largest source country for Australian educational institutions with a total enrollment reaching 78,128, it was still lower compared to China with 196,052.
While Australia welcomed about 259,000 tourists from India last year, this is only a fraction compared with the 1.2 million Chinese who traveled to the country last year.
Nick Bisley, professor of international relations at La Trobe University, said that there is only one direct flight between India and Australia, while there are more than 30 direct flights from Australia to several Chinese cities.
In terms of investments, China's direct investments in Australia amounted to $35.2 billion, while India has a meager $896 million.