A South Australia-Shandong consortium has proposed a $70 million agricultural consolidation park in Adelaide, which would supply premium food and wine to China.
The agreement to construct the park was signed at an official welcome dinner last night attended by Premier Jay Weatherill and Shandong’s Communist Party Secretary Jiang Yikang.
Armstrong Wines Trading Pty Ltd, Australia Original Ecology Pty Ltd and Shandong based Zibo Shoushan Enterprise Co Limited and Shandong Fusheng Food Co Limited, reached an agreement to establish the partnership.
South Australia is hosting more than 150 delegates from its Chinese sister province Shandong, as part of its largest ever trade mission to the state.
Exporter Mr Tony Royal said South Australia is a global leader in growing clean and green produce – it is perfectly positioned to supply premium wine and food to the ready made Chinese market.
“China’s expanding middle class has an insatiable appetite for high quality wine and food, however high tariffs and logistic barriers have constrained the opportunity for export growth,” Mr Royal said.
“This agreement will open up market access channels, allowing us to deliver hundreds of containers of food and wine into China every month.”
The South Australia-Shandong consortium has already begun construction of a $200 million retail centre in the city of Zibo which will showcase South Australia’s premium food and wine.
Developer William Li said an entire floor will be dedicated to South Australian products.
“My relationship with South Australia began on a State Government trade mission to China in 2013, where I met Tony Royal and started importing premium wine from Portavin,” Mr Li said.
“We became friends, not just business partners and during my visits to South Australia I was impressed by the abundance of high quality produce.”
The South Australia-China Engagement Strategy is delivering massive results for our state.
Premier Jay Weatherill said that economically Shandong is China’s third largest province with a population of 100 million and an annual GDP approaching $1 trillion.
“We believe that Shandong is our window into China and equally we are encouraging Shandong to see South Australia as their window into Australia,” Mr Weatherill said.
“This new investment will only strengthen South Australia’s reputation for producing clean green food that is in high demand globally.”
Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said the wine and food industry will be an important driver of jobs in South Australia.
“The agricultural consolidation park will provide significant job creation opportunities including in processing, storage, logistics and management,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“By partnering with international investors, South Australian businesses are opening up access to Asian export markets, bringing new money into the economy and creating local jobs.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell said the agreement follows another deal struck by South Australian company Thomas Foods International and Thailand based conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group last month.
“For the past 17 years, the food manufacturing industry has seen year-on-year growth,” Mr Bignell said.
“The state’s total overseas food and wine exports have reached a record high of more than $7.4 billion and employment in this industry has increased to more than 150,000.
“Not many industries can claim that sort of growth, and there is a lot of potential to create even more jobs and drive more business in this sector.”
Today’s announcement is also in addition to a State Government proposed Industrial Food Park in northern Adelaide.