20 Nov, 2013

Building Better Relationships with China to Benefit Adelaide

Travelling to China tomorrow, Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood will be joined by some of South Australia’s business, government and education leaders to further relations between the China and Adelaide.

In October a delegation of Qingdao government officials visited Adelaide and met with the Lord Mayor as well as the South Australian state government to further explore education, business and tourism opportunities between the two cities.

The delegation travelling to China this week, which includes representatives from The Hong Kong Australia Business Association, University of South Australia and the Australia China Business Council and Business SA, will hold high level discussions with representatives from business and government in Tianjin, Qingdao and Hong Kong.

Michael Higgs, President of the Hong Kong Australia Business Association in South Australia believes the possibilities for furthering business, trade and education through international relationships particularly in the Hong Kong China region are vast.

“There’s no doubt that there’s been a significant push from Hong Kong and China into Adelaide, in terms of investment, business and education and that Adelaide is on the cusp of reaping the rewards of this,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity to further relations with China and put Adelaide onto the world stage so we can really showcase what we have to offer, and leave a lasting impression.”

Hong Kong is an ideal place for South Australian small to medium sized businesses to enter the China Market in a manageable way. South Australian Brands and service providers can use their initial presence in Hong Kong to add strength and credibility to their brand before entering the China Market.

In this way their negotiations with Chinese Mainland buyers can be about the quality, benefits and advantages of the product rather than about price.

Public Officials such as Adelaide’s Lord Mayor visiting the region helps create greater awareness for all things South Australian and an understanding of the value the Lord Mayor places on the relationship with China.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor Nigel Relph says China is incredibly important to the University of South Australia because it is rapidly becoming dominant in terms of science and technology as well as economically.

“UniSA has a long term strategic engagement with China in a number of ways, notably via our three Joint Research Centres with Tianjin, Shandong and Beijing Normal Universities,” he said.

“We also welcome many excellent Chinese students each year, who make an important contribution to our international student population.

“Adelaide already has a well-established Friendly City Relationship with Qingdao, so it’s only logical that we use this relationship as leverage, and encourage talks between the two cities,” said Nigel.

Sister City relations are the next logical step and both cities really will reap the benefits of such a relationship, not only in the education sector, but in business, industry and tourism as well.”

China is South Australia’s largest two-way trade partner with exports including mineral resources, agriculture, commodities and wine which have already grown from $674m in 2006/07 to almost $2.26b in 2011/12. Business migration from China to Adelaide is growing rapidly bringing more investment and creating more jobs.

Qingdao is rated in the top ten liveable cities in China while Adelaide is rated fifth most liveable city in the world.

For more information

Rebecca Draysey