Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Thursday that despite the strong fundamentals of the Australian economy, the country must diversify beyond the resource sector even if commodity prices are expected to improve in the future.
He said diversifying is the next important ingredient which is why the federal government of Australia is also pushing for a boost in productivity through investments in skills and infrastructure and embracing new business opportunities in the areas of new agribusiness and new materials manufacturing.
However, he acknowledged that mining will remain a key industry for the Australian economy as global miners eye Africa as the next mining frontier.
"We've done it against American miners, Canadian miners, European miners, we're doing it against Latin American miners particularly out of Brazil and Chile and we succeed on the basis of the competitiveness of our bids," New.com.au quoted Mr Rudd's Thursday address at the ongoing Paydirt Down Under mining conference in Perth.
Proof of that is that over 200 Aussie mining firms with a total investment of more than $20 billion are in Africa, whose economic future, he acknowledged as also being linked to China.
When asked by a delegate if the Opposition would continue to engage Africa if the Coalition would win the 2013 election, the former prime minister said Opposition leader Tony Abbott apparently does not appreciate the economic potential of Africa although he admitted that Mr Abbott's deputy, MP Julie Bishop, does.
"The only question is whether her boss's views prevail in any future coalition government," Mr Rudd said.