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China encourages free trade by opening Consulate-General in South Australia

Education

The Chinese Government is working to establish a Consulate-General in Adelaide, South Australia as part of the inter-country Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed this week.

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Up to 25 high level officials will be based at the Consulate, promoting trade, cultural, economic, scientific, technological and educational ties between South Australia and the People's Republic of China.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said that the Consulate-General solidifies the State's relationship with China – which includes a prosperous Sister-State agreement with Shandong Province.

“The news that China will open a Consulate-General office in Adelaide is excellent for Chinese people that call South Australia their home and makes our State a more attractive place for Chinese tourism, trade and other important links,” the Premier said.

More than 50,000 Chinese nationals live in South Australia.

Investment and Trade Minister for South Australia, Martin Hamilton-Smith, said that the benefits of the agreement spread across many of the State's export sectors.

“The focus on China has seen South Australian exports there triple over three years, totalling $3.3 billion in the 12 months to August 2014, an increase of 42 per cent from the previous year,” Minister Hamilton-Smith said.

“China now accounts for more than a quarter of the state's exports and economic growth is expected to be a robust 7 per cent this year.”

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA), based in Adelaide, said that the FTA will allow Australia to be more competitive in the growing Chinese wine market as tariffs are reduced to zero within four years.

AGWA Acting CEO Andreas Clark said that the Chinese market holds enormous potential for Australian wine exports.

“The wine culture in China is still developing but more and more Chinese consumers are starting to discover and appreciate wine. This FTA means it will be that much easier for us to ensure that as these consumers learn more about wine, it's Australian wine they're drinking,” Clark said.

Premier Jay Weatherill also announced a new economic strategy based around international engagement, creating jobs through foreign investment and increased exports.

“Our State's future economic growth is dependent on promoting our international connections and engagement. Migrants have contributed significantly to the state's economy through their entrepreneurship and enhancing relationships between South Australia and the rest of the world,” the Premier said.

“To ensure we maintain our high standard of living we need to increase skilled and business migration to South Australia, and significantly increase economic activity, jobs growth and enterprise profitability linked to exports.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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