07 Aug, 2017

Real Returns from China Engagement

Efforts by the City of Adelaide to forge closer ties with key Chinese cities are helping to build new markets and generate real returns for local businesses.

The latest City of Adelaide-led business delegation by 16 city-based businesses to the cities of Qingdao and Dalian in early May has so far secured over $700,000 in export sales and generated a further $6 million in export leads.

Tally Gao, Director of Three Kangaroos Wines, said, “We have banked just over $700,000 in sales since the May delegation. It's vital to participate in Council delegations as it carries more importance when dealing with Chinese business partners."

One local company is now generating 50 per cent of its business from China after a two-and-a-half-year concerted effort to build its brand in that market.

The founder of 57 Films, Paul Ryan, said, “More than 50% of our business is now from China. With more and more trips to China now bearing fruit, I have two dedicated staff that follow up on China business leads. We will continue to be part of all Council-led business missions to China.”

Lord Mayor Martin Haese and Councillor David Slama, who took part in the SA Government-backed investment and trade mission, congratulated the local businesses for achieving export success in one of the world’s largest markets.

“The way that the City and State Governments work together creates a very supportive trade and investment jurisdiction in South Australia for Chinese investors,” Martin said.

“It was a great pleasure to meet the new Mayor of Qingdao, Mayor Meng Fanli, and discuss ways in which we can work together to provide prosperous outcomes for our businesses and communities.”

“Given the successes of this and previous business missions, I hope more local entrepreneurs and companies consider joining future delegations.” Councillor Slama said, “In China relationships are everything, so Council’s role has been to work with our business community to help build existing relationships and create new ones that will benefit Adelaide and
South Australia.”

“Together with the State Government, we are investing a lot of time and effort in China. As these results show, our efforts are helping to open doors for many local businesses.

"There are no quick wins in China – success comes to those who are in it for the long haul. My role as an elected member is to do everything I can to support those local firms that are seeking to grow their business internationally and help them foster new relationships that can turn into commercial opportunities.

Other important outcomes from the recent visit to Qingdao and Dalian include:

• A Memorandum of Understanding with Qingdao’s Municipal Tourism Development Commission to co-ordinate joint tourism promotion. As a direct result, the City of Adelaide received an inbound mission from the Department of Qingdao Tourism in July, which generated an estimated $15K immediate value to the City economy.
• City of Adelaide signed a statement of intent to discuss ways to improve golf tourism opportunities between the North Adelaide Golf Course and the Qingdao International Golf Course
• Five (5) MoU between Adelaide and Chinese businesses were signed, an important step in the business process with Chinese partners
• Extensive promotion of the City of Adelaide as a destination for prospective students, parents and education agents, in collaboration with StudyAdelaide, and
• Strengthened relationships with the new leadership of Qingdao and, in particular, the new Mayor of Qingdao, critical elements in the city-to-city ties that help to underpin business success in this market.

The Lord Mayor said Council would also continue to expand its “China Ready” initiative.

“Last year, South Australia received 36,000 visitors from China, contributing $202 million to the economy. The average spend was $5,669 per person, making our Chinese guests the highest spending visitors to South Australia.

“Our China Ready Project was developed to maximise the tourism and economic benefits to the city from the new direct flights operated by China Southern Airlines between mainland China and Adelaide.

“Through improved physical signage across the city, greater use of key digital platforms such as ‘WeChat’ and offering support to help businesses better target their services and products to Chinese visitors, the City of Adelaide is truly focussed on maximising the economic and cultural impact of this increased tourism,” he

Background information

• Qingdao is located in eastern Shandong Province about 670 kilometres southwest of Beijing. Dalian is amajor city and seaport in the south of Liaoning Province.
• In May 2013, the City of Adelaide became a Sister City with Qingdao. The city has had a Friendly City relationship with Dalian since 2001.

For more information

Matt Halliwell