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THE recent visit of the President of China Jiang Zemin to Sydney was another positive step forward in Western Australia’s bid to be the first supplier of liquefied natural gas to China.

The meeting I had with him was an excellent opportunity to reinforce Western Australia’s strength as a reliable, competitive supplier of LNG to world markets.

The President recognised the abundant resources in Western Australia and our close proximity to China and said we should have confidence as negotiations over the supply of LNG to China progressed.

The President, who visited the Pilbara in 1987, also commented on the success of the Channar joint venture and I believe our proven track record with the iron ore trade with China will assist our current negotiations.

WESTERN Australia’s agricultural producers have built up an exceptional reputation for quality products – and they are putting them to the test in England this month.

Our State’s finest fare including meat, seafood, wine, fruit and vegetables will be the focus of a special promotion in Selfridges department stores in London and Manchester from 19 September.

The promotion is the sequel to a visit to Western Australia by a Selfridges’ delegation earlier this year and offers an excellent opportunity to tap into the largely unexplored British market.

I will be in London for the start of the promotion and will be delighted to high-light again our State’s reputation as a reliable source of clean, fresh products.

TECHNOLOGY came to the fore recently in an unusual launch for the new Western Australian Institute for Medical Research.

The institute is Australia’s first multi-campus research institute devoted to the study of adult disease.

With the work split over two facilities at Sir Charles Gairdner and Royal Perth Hospitals, a video link was used to cover the simultaneous launch at both sites.

The institute, which was founded by the University of WA and the research foundations at the two hospitals, is an exciting step forward for medical research in this State.

Besides its work in discovering new cures and treatments for disease, the institute will provide work opportunities for researchers, not only helping to keep Australian researchers working here, but encouraging others to return or move here.

It will boost our developing biotechnology industry in Western Australia.

GOOD news also came from the International Federation on Ageing recently with the decision to hold the 6th Global Conference on Ageing in Western Australia in 2002.

More than 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference bringing the State an economic benefit estimated at $2.1 million.

The conference will also help ensure continuing focus on improving services for seniors and the need to meet the challenges of an ageing population.

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