The Border Watch : March 17th 2015
2 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Mayors on trade mission South East leaders join mass delegation to China From front page It is understood Mount Gambier-based packaged water supply company Aquaessence plans to export 170 million litres of water to China each year. This will reportedly see the equivalent of 80 B-doubles loaded with the region’s underground water leave Mount Gambier each week. Other industries that could be represented include general agriculture, dairy, forestry and seafood. Australia China Business Council South Australian branch president Sean Keenihan said local government would be front and centre on the mission with the Shandong Government. said the Shandong Government was committed to hosting a local government forum focused on economic development collaboration between WORLD CLASS DELICACY: Dylan Howard - who works in a regional seafood export business - holds an impressive rock lobster that was caught off the coast of Port MacDonnell. The region’s pristine seafood sector is expected to be one of the key industries represented by the China delegation. Picture: ALEX McGREGOR Shandong and South Australian councils. “The program will showcase South Australia’s unique, world-class value proposition across wellestablished and emerging industry sectors, which are of increasing interest to China and Shandong,” Mr Keenihan said in a letter to council. He said these opportunities were being fuelled by the signing of the AustraliaChina Free Trade Agreement and the significant fall in the Australian dollar. China’s continuing growth in consumption of goods and services was also a driving demand. “The SA Government has established a cross industry working group to finalise the forum program and associated arrangements that will assist travelling delegates - including businesses - to make the most of the opportunity,” Mr Keenihan said. “It is anticipated that busi- nesses - supported by state and local governments - will be given the opportunity to promote their products and co-investment opportunities and develop relationships with potential Chinese partners.” But before the departure date, he said participating delegates would undergo a process that would ensure they were “China ready” and able to put their best pitch forward. “This process will also enhance the sustainability and prospects for prosperity through being challenged to be globally competitive,” Mr Keenihan said. If councils were keen to be involved, he said they should prepare a list of businesses in their region that would be in the best position to take advantage of the program. Meanwhile, Grant District Council chief executive officer Trevor Smart was supportive of council’s involvement ahead of last night’s meeting. “It is anticipated that this will be an extremely valuable activity for council to be involved,” Mr Smart said in the council meeting agenda. “As well as the invalu- able opportunities this will provide in developing relationships with our Chinese partners, we will also be given the chance to showcase and promote our local region and all it has to offer,” Mr Smart said. “This has the potential to have benefits for our local businesses and economy.” Aquaessence spokesperson Tony Gasparini declined to comment yesterday over his company’s emerging Chinese deal. Business ties to be strengthened J.L. “FRED” SMITH WATTLE Range Council will send Mayor Peter Gandolfi and chief executive Peter Harriott on a trade mission to China in May. The council has accepted an invitation from Shipeng Wu, the chairman of Qingdao Gather Great Ocean Group, which purchased the seaweed processing plant at Snuggery last year. The two council representatives’ visit is expected to cost $10,000 and has been timed to coincide with a 200-strong trade mission headed by Premier Jay Weatherill. Mr Harriott said the visit to Qingdao was an opportunity to explain and promote the council’s business opportunities to ministers and investors. He said the visit would also be an opportunity for council to better understand the business intentions of the Chinese company and establish some of the detail in relation to timing of plant and equipment delivery. CHINA-BOUND: Wattle Range Council Mayor Peter Gandolfi is taking part in a Chinese trade mission in May. “GGOG’s connections with the Qingdao business community may also provide an avenue for further promotion of business opportunities with Wattle Range Council,” Mr Harriott said. “It is considered that two representatives are sufficient due to logistics and cost. “Advice has been received from organisers of the premier’s mission that the preference is to limit local government numbers to two. “This trade mission and visit to China fits with council’s economic development strategy.” His recommendation regarding the trade mission was endorsed at the March monthly council meeting and followed some debate. Councillor Dean Burrow expressed his disappointment at the trend for Australian companies to be purchased by overseas firms. However, Mr Gandolfi said most capital investment inquiries from China were not about buying farms, but value-adding to local produce for exports. The mayor said there were opportunities to cater for premium wine and food for the Chinese middle class. “It is about job creation,” Mr Gandolfi said. Councillor Kevin McGrath said he would like council’s new economic development manager Steve Chapple to take part in the trade mission, but Mr Harriott said the State Government only allowed two representatives per council. Cr John Drew supported council’s involvement in the trade mission. “They can set up networks,” Cr Drew said. Shop T32 Mount Gambier Marketplace 182-248 Penola Road, Mount Gambier 666307 2 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, March 17, 2015 OFF TO CHINA: Grant District Mayor Richard Sage is expected to be one of 200 people who will take part in the China trade delegation in May. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO www.theborderwatch.com.au “There is a risk that there may be no new business, but we should not throw away this opportunity.” Catalogue out now!
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