Minister for Trade and Investment Martin Hamilton-Smith and South Australian business representatives will today tour the facilities of China Southern Airlines in Guangzhou to explore the potential for increased goods trade between Adelaide and the south-eastern Chinese city.
The tour is one of the first key appointments on Mr Hamilton-Smith’s agenda during this week’s South Australia Business Mission to China.
Led by Premier Jay Weatherill and Mr Hamilton-Smith, the mission includes high-profile meetings to strengthen South Australia’s relationship with key figures in Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai and Shanghai as well as Guangzhou.
China Southern – the largest airline in Asia – has scheduled three flights from Guangzhou to Adelaide each week since it flew into Adelaide for the first time on 13 December 2016.
The South Australian Government and local companies are looking to China Southern as a major partner in their efforts to begin or expand trade in China. They see the airline as a key factor in efforts to supply China with the fresh food produce, wine and other goods increasingly sought by China’s expanding middle class.
China Southern Airlines last month announced a seven-figure, two-year sponsorship of the Adelaide Football Club.
The South Australia-China Engagement Strategy sets out how South Australia, its industries and individual businesses can capitalise on China’s growing demand for goods and services.
The proportion of middle-class families with an appetite for imported produce continues to grow. By 2018, China is expected to become the top importer of foreign food products and Guangzhou has the third largest population of all China’s mainland cities, behind Beijing and Shanghai.
Trade missions such as this week’s South Australia Business Mission are carefully planned to connect South Australian companies and institutions with the business, research and education, and government representatives in China able to support the trade and investment activity to capitalise on this demand.
The estimated minimum benefit to the South Australian economy of each return flight is $1 million — more than $150 million a year — spread across a range of industries.
The relationship with China Southern is seen to hold the potential for expanded opportunities for exporters, prospective exporters, freight forwarders, freight storage companies, and other businesses involved in the international freight supply chain.
The South Australia Business Mission comprises more than 200 South Australian business, investment, healthcare, and research and education representatives seeking new or expanded partnerships in China.
The mission offers delegates the opportunity to pursue their business negotiations in a sports environment, with the Port Adelaide Football Club playing its historic AFL game against the Gold Coast Suns in Shanghai on 14 May.
For more information about South Australia’s strategic relationship with China, visit the Department of State Development’s website.
Quotes attributable to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith
The South Australian Government was pleased to welcome China Southern Airlines to Adelaide in December, and we’re thrilled that visitor and freight figures to date validate the airline’s decision to operate from Adelaide Airport.
This Business Mission allows a significant number of South Australian exporters to join me in meeting key China Southern personnel and touring their facilities here in Guangzhou.
It is an important meeting that allows us to see first-hand a facility with real implications for an extended trade relationship that can bring South Australian produce to the tables of Chinese families.