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Region to benefit from China trade mission

Region to benefit from China trade mission

The Wimmera region could potentially generate up to $50 million worth of business from China over the next two years, following a successful trade mission by the Wimmera Development Association and Horsham Rural City Council earlier this month.
The main focus of the trip was to showcase produce from the Wimmera Southern-Mallee at the 16th Session of China Import and Export Fair in Kunming Province; a five-day event attracting many thousands of international traders.
The Association’s executive director Philip Sabien said the ‘Horsham region’ branded exhibit featured the region’s dried fruit, breakfast cereals, lentils, chickpeas, wine and olive oil.
“Thousands of key importers, buyers and agents visited our exhibit and were impressed and surprised with the diversity of produce on offer by the Wimmera,” he said.
“Many people came back two or three times asking questions. The Chinese were very impressed with Australian product and indicated that they would certainly consider trading with us.”
The Wimmera Development Association and Horsham Rural City Council contingent travelled to China as part of a trade delegation with Mildura Rural City Council and the Campaspe Shire Council.
The delegation also attended the Australian Investment Seminar in China’s Yunnan Province, where Horsham representatives were able to present Wimmera investment opportunities – such as mineral sands mining and grain research and processing – to 120 senior government officials and private organisations.
A series of meetings organised by the Victorian Government Business Office in Shanghai with senior government officials, the Austrade Trade Commissioner, 25 food and wine importers and agents, and China’s two main supermarket chairs also resulted in positive dialogue about importing local product.
Wimmera Manufacturing and Industry Group chairman Anthony Op de Coul, who was part of the trade delegation, said they met with a lot of “cashed up investors”.
“Now, when the WDA – in partnership with its member councils – strategically look at bigger picture projects for the region, we can do so with the knowledge that we have potential investors who would be open to our ideas,” he said.
“Projects that in the past we may have thought were ‘pie in the sky’ can actually be achievable.”
The delegation also presented regional skilled migration strategies at the China (Yunnan) – Australia Labour Services Conference to an audience of senior government officials, university representatives and other associated organisations. At the Conference, they learned about China’s two-year labour exchange programs.
“The next step is for us to hold discussions with the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development to set up some labour exchange programs to help address our skills shortages across the region,” said Mr Sabien.
Mr Sabien concluded he had already received several serious inquiries since his return from China only a week ago about exporting regional product and pursuing investment opportunities.
“The relationships that were formed during the two-week period simply could not have been achieved without being part of the delegation,” he said.
“It was an extremely worthwhile trip.”

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Posted on Jun 25 2008

Posted by on Jun 25 2008. Filed under Business & Finance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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