02 Apr, 2016

China Trade Mission Gets Underway

Lord Mayor Martin Haese and Councillors David Slama and Priscilla Corbell depart this weekend to join the State Government-led trade mission to Shandong.

The Lord Mayor described the mission as another huge opportunity to strengthen the Sister City relationship with Qingdao – a city that is taking a great interest in Adelaide.

A delegation from Qingdao was last in Adelaide during March and some exciting talks took place, with announcements set to be made between the two cities during this mission.

“This mission again brings together a range of South Australian business and community leaders who are focused on building mutually beneficial links with China,” Martin said.

“Relationships are everything in China and Government to Government opens the door to business to business over there, so we’re excited to play an important role in this mission through facilitating opportunities for local business.

“Exports from South Australia to China have grown exponentially in recent years and China now accounts for over a quarter of South Australia’s total exports, with further growth possible.”

Steven Russo, a partner at PKF Kennedy in Flinders Street, is taking part in his first mission. With offices in other parts of China, Steven saw this trip as a great opportunity to take a closer look at Qingdao, given the strong Sister City relationship.

“I approach this trip with some trepidation having never been to China but know how important it is for our business and want to thank City of Adelaide and the State Government for assisting our business,” said Steven.

“The Council has made contact with us and other businesses based in the city to introduce us all prior to departure and to let us know how they can assist us on the mission.

“The Lord Mayor and Council’s existing contacts, networking activities they’ll host and things like the offer of translation support in meetings in China will be a real help.”

Around 30 business representatives from the City of Adelaide area will join the mission.

The five-day mission to Qingdao and Jinan in Shandong province is part of the Shandong-South Australia Cooperation and Development Forum.


The Sister Cities Movement is a worldwide concept which originated soon after World War II, and Adelaide has been in the movement since the ‘70s when Christchurch, New Zealand, became our first sister city.

Qingdao was chosen as the next sister city because of its similarities to Adelaide and the expected positive impact on trade relations between the two cities.

Australians best know the Chinese city for Tsingtao Beer; a 110-year-old company that makes China’s top-selling export lager; Tsingtao relies heavily on malting barley from South Australia in its beer production.

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

Qingdao is one of the five economic ‘dragon’ cities in China, and it is our gateway to the biggest market in the world.

Qingdao is located in eastern Shandong province about 670 kilometres southwest of Beijing.

A formal relationship has already been established between South Australia and Shandong, with the State Government’s China Engagement Strategy centred on this region.

China is a key international destination for Adelaide and South Australia. For instance:

  • China is South Australia’s largest two-way trade partner. Exports include a range of mineral resources, bulk agricultural commodities and wine;
  • South Australia is attracting Chinese investment in the resources sector, the wine industry and property sectors and local companies are successfully investing in China;
  • Nearly 40 per cent of overseas students coming into South Australia are from China;
  • The Chinese business migrant community in South Australia is growing and flourishing, bringing investment and jobs.

View the Lord Mayor’s ‘Window into Shandong’ video here.

For more information

Matthew Halliwell