James Packer: China’s middle class to change Australian economy

The rise of China’s middle class will change every aspect of the Australian economy, James Packer, billionaire businessman said Wednesday at the Leadership 2012 Tourism, Aviation and Transport Infrastructure Summit in Canberra.

According to his analysis, the Chinese middle classes want luxury travel, quality hotels, signature restaurants and high-end retail.

Packer said Australia must build relationships with Asia through languages, culture, education, sport and commerce and called for a new view of China.

“We need to stop viewing China like it’s the Cold War and start viewing it as a modern member of the industrialised world,” he said.

Packer said those who had not been to China did not appreciate how much it had changed and how much the country was doing to lift its people out of poverty.

“It should be almost compulsory for all senior executives and government officials to make the trip to China and gain appreciation of how the country has changed.”

Xinhua