Economic Partnership Delegation heads to China

Issued Tuesday 4 April 2017

A small Economic Partnership Delegation from the City of Casey has flown to China to build relationships which it’s hoped will lead to economic partnerships with Chinese local authorities.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz, River Gum Ward Councillor Wayne Smith BJ JP and two Council officers will spend a week travelling in Sichuan province and Shanghai.

“Council is serious about attracting jobs and investment to the Casey Cardinia region. The Economic Partnership Delegation to China is one very practical way we’re trying to realise this ambition,” Cr Aziz said.

“By sitting across a table with Chinese authorities, Casey will have the best chance of identifying opportunities to create trade and economic development, leading to jobs.”

Cr Aziz said the area around the provincial city of Chengdu was targeted due to its existing strong links to Australia including direct flights from Melbourne, Australian Consulate General representation and manufacturing and food production industries.

The delegation will visit three District Governments - Dujiangyan City, Shuangliu District and Sichuan Provincial Government - as well as numerous businesses and educational institutions including:

  • Dujiangyan Irrigation System
  • Xujia vegetable farm
  • Industrial Park of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
  • Victorian Government Business Offices in Chengdu and Shanghai
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce West China and Shanghai
  • Huawei Research and Development Centre to learn more about their South East Water partnership.

The delegation will establish relationships which it is hoped will lead to a long term economic co-operative agreement with a Chinese city, council or region.

“If Casey is to benefit from the surge of investment coming out of China, we must get serious about engaging with our local government counterparts on their home soil,” Cr Aziz added.

“While it will take some time to realise the benefits of the economic partnership delegation, I’m convinced it will reap the rewards for our city.

“I make no apologies for being ambitious. Sitting on our hands at home is not an option.”

Cr Aziz said high on the agenda was seeing manufacturing and food production in a region growing at a rate which is hard to imagine in Australia and understanding how similar industries could be developed in Casey.

The delegation would also look at how South West China is managing an explosion in population growth and economic growth which has seen it attract major companies such as Volvo and VW, and serious infrastructure such as fast trains.

The delegation will return to Melbourne on 11 April.