Less than a fortnight out from the biggest trade mission in South Australian history, delegates met today to learn more about potential investment and trade opportunities.
Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith informed many of the 250 delegates at a pre-departure briefing.
Delegates were provided business and cultural training to gain insights into the Chinese market from experienced advisers.
“Understanding the modern Chinese commercial market will ensure that South Australian businesses will have a strategic advantage to attract investment, export our premium products and services, and drive job growth in this state,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“A broad range of sectors will be represented on the trip, including representatives from the agricultural, arts, education, health, mining and resources, tourism, and wine sectors.
“South Australia’s sister-state relationship with Shandong Province provides access for businesses of all sizes to the impressive Chinese market.
“Shandong has a population of about 100 million people and gross domestic product nearing US$1 trillion.
“The second South Australia-Shandong Cooperation and Development Forum will be held on May 25 and this delegation will enable us to show Chinese investors first-hand how our state’s businesses can support China’s plans for growth.
“Since the release of the initial South Australia-China engagement strategy in late 2012, the State Government has made strong progress in further developing our engagement, commercial relationships and cultural exchange with China.”
Today’s event also marked the launch of the South Australia-China Strategic Review consultation paper, which will identify progress and future direction of the relationship.
“South Australia has played a leading role in Australia’s relationship with China guided by the Strategy, but our approach must be revisited and renewed in light of the introduction of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The Strategy has set out four key actions and work has progressed in each of these areas. The progress and achievements to date are outlined in the consultation paper.
“I encourage and welcome feedback from delegates about how we can better target our China strategy to ensure optimum engagement and to continue to grow our connections and relationships.
“We know that our assets – in sectors such as minerals and resources, agriculture, premium food and wine, health, medical and assistive technologies, tourism, education and business services and creative industries – are of value to expanding economies, including China.
“This month’s delegation to China will show Chinese investors how specific businesses can support their plans for growth – for example, through our world-leading mineral assets headlined by significant deposits of copper, gold, iron ore, uranium, rare earths and mineral sands, Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“Another focus will be South Australia’s food and wine, which is the state’s largest export earner, with high quality grains, premium seafood, high quality wines, meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables grown and produced in diverse, pristine natural environments across the state.
“And our already renowned expertise in the health sciences will be boosted by the development of our purpose-built healthcare and medical technology precinct in North Adelaide – a precinct that will promote business links in health care, medical equipment and the care of ageing populations.