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World doesn't need US-China 'chest-beating': Forrest

Billionaire mining boss Andrew Forrest has called for better relations between the United States and China, saying rising tensions between the two superpowers contribute nothing to the world.

"I'd just like the chest-beating between North America and China to stop, because while it's a great way to get yourself elected, particularly in the mid-states of North America, it doesn't do anything for the world," the Fortescue Metals Group CEO told the Australian Financial Review Business Summit on Tuesday.

"It doesn't bring peace, it doesn't create livelihoods, it doesn't improve standards of living.

"It makes the world less stable, less comfortable place to live."

Later in the conference, the US ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, said the Chinese foreign minister had made it clear China wanted to stabilise its relationship with the United States, which she said was something also desired by the Biden administration.

"I think for all of us, there are really important areas for dialogue, for cooperation, on areas like climate, but there are also issues that we need to respond to," Ms Kennedy said, a possible reference to the recent allegations of Chinese spy balloon flight over the United States.

"Certainly, nobody wants conflict."

Mr Forrest said he thought the five per cent economic growth target for 2023 China announced over the weekend was achievable.

"The Chinese government lives on economic growth because when economic growth starts to slow down, things become unstable. The whole government of China relies on its own popularity - not unlike democracies, just that a change of the guard there's a lot worse than in an election."

The Chinese people he had spoken with had told him they're "just so happy" to get out of the COVID-19 straitjacket and get back to doing things such as building houses and apartment blocks, Mr Forrest said.

Earlier, the chairman of Australia's sovereign wealth fund told the summit there would be at least two more rate hikes following the one Australia's central bank is expected to hand down later on Tuesday.

Future Fund chairman and former treasurer Peter Costello said the Reserve Bank had a "long way" to go to catch up to central banks in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

"We will have one (rate hike) today, and then a few more to come, but we're still off the mark if you compare us to the Fed and if you compare us to the Bank of England," he said.

"I think the Reserve, having started on this course late, having started on this course slowly, still has to convince the public that it will see the course, because there's no point in starting if we can't finish.

'"That would be the worst position of all to find ourselves in."

Also at the conference, Mathias Cormann, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, called for a "sensible policy conversation" on the best settings for Australia's tax system to make the country as competitive as possible.

Mr Cormann, Australia's minister of finance under the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments, described Australia's personal tax burden as very high in an international context.