A State Government delegation has returned from Shandong, China where it focused on job creation ahead of a year-long celebration to mark the 30-year sister-state relationship.
Minister for Investment and Trade Hamilton-Smith who travelled to the region said key talks looked ahead to 2016 when Premier Jay Weatherill will lead a local business mission to Shandong as part of the 30th anniversary of the sister-state agreement with the Province.
“The delegation met with the Australian Embassy in Beijing to outline the State Government’s relationship with Shandong Province and to reaffirm the focus of our South Australia-China Engagement Strategy,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“Our continued collaboration with China will help boost exports and create jobs, particularly so when the China Free Trade Agreement comes into full effect.
“The State Government wants to ensure South Australian businesses are on the front foot in our efforts to engage with the region.
“We met with the Vice-Governor of Shandong Province, Xia Geng and government officials from Shandong Provincial Department of Commerce and Shandong Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, to emphasise the importance of our ongoing relationship.
“We provided Vice-Governor Xia with an update on our Friendly Cooperation Action Plan that was signed in September by Premier Weatherill and China’s Party Secretary Jiang Yikang,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“This plan supports South Australia and Shandong’s sister-state relationship as it continues to grow under the China Free Trade Agreement framework.
“As part of the plan, we have agreed to jointly build a sustainable relationship that will give priority to our regions when providing facilitation and enabling conditions for two-way trade, mutual investment and personnel exchange.
“We will continue to discuss a broader reciprocal cultural and arts program as well as a sporting program which will encourage greater engagement between our sister-states in these areas.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith said the delegation also discussed the 30th anniversary celebration of South Australia and Shandong’s sister-state agreement with Vice Governor Xia and Vice-Mayor of Qingdao Municipal Government, Liu Mingjun.
“Our efforts are focused on maintaining a platform that we have built to support commercial engagement for South Australia’s current and future exporters,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“It is vitally important that both regions have the opportunity to work together on this significant milestone as we go forward.
“To get ahead in a competitive world, we need to build South Australia’s international connections, alliances and exports to a new level. Our future prosperity depends upon it.”
An expression of interest process to recruit delegates for the April 2016 China mission was launched by Premier Weatherill this month.
The mission will focus on sectors identified within the South Australia-Shandong High Level Working Group and nominated within the Friendly Cooperation Action Plan.
• Agribusiness, food and wine
• Education and research
• Mining services
• Clean tech – waste and water; and
• Urban planning and architectural design
The Expression Of Interest process will close in late February 2016. Following this, the South Australian Government will provide the Shandong Government with an initial list of companies that will travel to Shandong to participate in the business program.
To register interest for the April 2016 business mission to China, visit http://www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/investment/business-missions