Chinese seek SW trade ties

GOVERNMENT and business officials from China and Western Australia’s South West are exploring new trade opportunities following visits by two Chinese trade delegations this month.

During their visits to the South West, Chinese trade representatives expressed interest in buying South West minerals and developing a paper mill near Collie.

Also explored were opportunities in the meat and dairy industries, as well as areas of agriculture, including growing green tea in Manjimup.

The South West Development Corporation (SWDC) hosted the two Chinese delegations.

In a statement, SWDC CEO Don Punch said new trade ties were forged between WA and China during the visits and the SWDC would follow up with visits to trade offices in China.

“Australia’s current focus on China as a trade partner is well placed and we are privileged to host delegations such as these because these visits develop mutually beneficial trade relations within this region,” he said.

“These visitors have expressed interest in buying mineral sands and manganese and are investigating the feasibility of building a paper pulp mill near Collie.

“Some of our visitors were also looking at investment in the beef, horticulture and dairy industries, as well as sharing knowledge about those industries between nations.”

SWDC industry and business services manager Dominique Van Gent said a tour of port facilities in Bunbury highlighted the efficiency and trading capabilities of the South West region.

“There is a general agreement that there are opportunities, it is a matter of working through [those opportunities] in more detail,” he said.

The first delegation visited the region on September 30 and included representatives from Guangdong Vinda Paper Company and the China International Tourism and Trade Company Ltd.

The second group of mainly government officials visited last week and was led by Zhou Guofu, deputy party secretary from the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.

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